Social Media

The Texas Bill That Prohibits Social Media Censorship Is a Mess

The whole thing is arguably voided by Section 230.

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Political bias on social media is one of the biggest issues animating the political right these days, and thus many conservatives talk about doing something to prevent "Big Tech" censorship. Several Republican-controlled states are considering passing legislation designed to accomplish just that.

The Texas Senate, for instance, is poised to approve SB12, which ostensibly prohibits social media companies from restricting their users' speech.

"We need to recognize in Texas, maybe particularly in Texas, we see that the First Amendment is under assault by the social media companies and that is not going to be tolerated in Texas," said Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in support of the bill.

The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies. On the contrary, the First Amendment defends the free speech rights of private entities—like social media companies—against restrictive government action, like this bill. It would be more accurate to say that the First Amendment is under assault by the Texas legislature. A private company deciding what kind of speech it allows on its platform is precisely the kind of thing the First Amendment protects from government interference.

If that were not enough, the bill has two massive flaws, one of which might render it entirely pointless.

First, the bill defines its terms very broadly: It would prohibit any large social media company (more than 100 million monthly users) from restricting content because of the expressed viewpoint. "An interactive computer service may not censor a user, a user's expression, or a user's ability to receive the expression of another person," the bill reads.

Practically speaking, this could prohibit Facebook and Twitter from taking action against content that is harmful, abusive, or spammy. Facebook's News Feed algorithm makes choices about what kind of content to prioritize, and the platform occasionally opts to limit the reach of some posts—conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, or COVID-19, for instance. The bill would appear to interfere with the day-to-day runnings of the site in very basic ways. It could even force social media sites to take away moderation options from users.

"YouTube and Facebook allow page managers to remove content posted on their community pages," noted Steve DelBianco, president of the trade association NetChoice, in his comments about the bill. "This empowers content creators to curate their pages to suit community interests. However, platforms and websites might remove this capability, since it invites expensive litigation under SB 12."

If that weren't good enough reason to oppose the bill, it also contains a section that appears to render the entire thing obsolete: "This chapter does not prohibit an interactive computer service from censoring expression that the interactive computer service is specifically authorized to censor by federal law."

Under a federal law known as Section 230, social media companies cannot be held liable for "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." In other words, federal law already gives social media companies every right to restrict users' content, and Texas' bill—as written—bows to federal law.

Many Republican legislators at both the state and national level are profoundly misguided about Section 230. They seem to think it's getting in the way of conservatives' free speech rights when in reality it gives Big Tech additional legal cover for continuing to platform right-wing speech. Legislation aimed at hurting social media companies will ultimately end up hurting the kinds of speech that have flourished on Facebook and Twitter but would not have been published in mainstream media outlets.

If anything, that's disproportionately likely to be right-wing speech.

NEXT: Attack of the Zombie ERA

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  1. “Under a federal law known as Section 230, social media companies cannot be held liable for “any action voluntarily taken in good faith ”

    Good faith has been the issue from the get go.

    1. Good faith requires Government Almighty to FORCE people to buy Reason Magazines, right?

      Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
      How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

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

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

      “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
      Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)

      (Etc.)

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      3. Poor sarcasmic.

      4. Sqrlsy is an odd duck. His whole purpose here is to shitpost and attack other posters, but then he gets genuinely angry when he’s flagged or others do the same to him.
        Reminds me of another poster here.

        1. LOL

          Sarcasmic is dedicating all of his time and effort these days into the SQRLSY and WK socks. His “sarcasmic” sock has gotten so unbearably pathetic that even he can’t stand it.

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    3. It’s astounding the number of stupid libertarians who are OK with Congress regulating free speech as long as the moderation is done in good faith.

    4. “Good faith” is the pretext for the LP’s cowardly flight from the defense of individual rights for women contained in the 1972 and 1976 LP platforms. We once stopped mystical bigots from sending men with guns to force women into the involuntary labor of reproduction. The Supreme Court even copy-pasted the plank into its Roe v Wade decision. “Good faith” is indistinguishable from superstition or credulity and does not belong in a plank throwing women to ku-klux kleptocracy coercion in George Wallace states.

      1. I don’t understand. Where do the Corn Laws and Comstock come in?

  2. “The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies.”

    When social media companies censor precisely those entities and voices that the government tells them to censor, the First Amendment is clearly under assault.

    Why does Reason have such a hard fucking time understanding this? There is no carve out in First Amendment jurisprudence for the government to freely censor dissidents so long as it does so through the mechanism of a private corporation.

    1. You have to admit privatizing the ministry of truth was brilliant.

      1. Maybe yes maybe not. Businesses can be intimidated a lot easier than soldiers.

        1. Soldiers exist to be intimidated — except, instead of calling it coordinated intimidation, they call it the Chain of Command.

    2. Let’s also point out that the only thing under 230 where they take cover is the very vague “otherwise objectionable”, which is treated in the way that over-reaching government entities treat the Constitutional General Welfare and Commerce clauses. They are catchalls for anything that can’t otherwise be defined as within the Constitutional scope of federal government.

      NOBODY is arguing that FB should be able to be sued because of Bob made a defamatory claim about Frank. Only that when you start including political discourse they don’t like as “objectionable”, by default they are choosing which political discourse is allowed and cannot claim they are a platform anymore. They are publishers and like all other publishers, can be sued for what they decide to allow. FB should not be able to to choose to publish things without consequence that other publishers like the NYT, WaPO, WSJ, or the National Enquirer would get sued for.

      It’s allowing special privilege based on a technicality that the social media company gets to exclusively decide and by which they should be just as liable as any other publisher.

      1. There is a novel claim that when Twitter blocks you for “hate speech” they can be making a defamatory claim against the user they chose to block with their own actions. This is where the crux of the 230 argument lies.

        Likewise Reason still refuses to address the contractual issues that have been brought under the umbrella of 230 protections.

        1. There is a novel claim that when Twitter blocks you for “hate speech” they can be making a defamatory claim against the user they chose to block with their own actions. This is where the crux of the 230 argument lies.

          It should be noted that not only in this case does it shield Twitter, but it effectively and preferentially shields complainants even ones knowingly acting in bad faith.

          The idea that you can take an agnostic platform and moderate it to fairness or objectivity is abjectly stupid. How does a phone line or a highway act in good faith? It doesn’t. How do you make it do so? You can’t. So what ‘good faith moderation’ means is that you think the platform is doing something it shouldn’t be and you should be able to stop it.

      2. That’s a big problem with a lot of things. Everything is “otherwise objecctionable” in principle. Just find someone to object. So it might as well just say “they can do whatever they want”.

    3. How is the government telling Facebook and Twitter how to operate their websites?

      1. What good is his reply going to do even if he can explain it to you? Will you just post another question then another and another?

      2. It is simple the government said if you don’t do “X” we will do “Y”.
        Social media got the hint and did “X” instead of taking a bullet from the government gun.

      3. with threats of legislation

        or have we reached the point where we pretend threats aren’t government action?

        1. Government action is a process. Legislation is an example of government action. Some elected official making dramatic gestures and virtue signalling to constituents is not government action.

          1. Then why do lobbyist appear out of no where . Because politician threaten laws.

            1. prime example Microsoft went from 2 part time lobbyist to 44 full time when the government started talking about breaking them up. its mostly about the government wanting the money and bowing down to them and not so much the laws but if they don’t get the green there will be laws

            2. Occasionally, those dramatic gestures and virtue signalling can present a realistic threat. It is unfortunate that employing lobbyists has become a cost of doing business in the United States. This is more of a concern with general economic regulation, I see no reason to interpret this, or the Microsoft case, as an attempt by government to conduct policy by using private firms as a proxy.

              1. “I see no reason to interpret this, or the Microsoft case, as an attempt by government to conduct policy by using private firms as a proxy.”

                Then what do you interpret it as? Disinterested governance in pursuit of the common good?

      4. Is it by accident that each time the tech companies are berated while appearing in Congressional hearings, they eagerly declare that they’ll “improve” their “moderation”. The assault on free speech doesn’t cease to exist just because censorship has been farmed out to Big Tech.

    4. They never understood fascism or corporatism.

      1. It is as if the 20th century never happened.

    5. It’s not that the writers don’t understand; they just don’t care.

      Why they don’t care? Well, I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

  3. Nice business you have there – it would be a shame if anything happened to it. Robby is a dipshit.

    The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies. On the contrary, the First Amendment defends the free speech rights of private entities—like social media companies—against restrictive government action, like this bill.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-16/pelosi-calls-facebook-irresponsible-in-allowing-misinformation
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Facebook Inc. “very irresponsible” and “shameful” for the way the company allows false information to spread on its social media platform.

    She said that during the last election Facebook made no attempts to look at Russia’s use of the platform to spread disinformation and doesn’t view it as their obligation to try to stop it in the future.

    “They intend to be accomplices with misleading the American people,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday in response to a question about whether Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executive have too much power. “I think their behavior is shameful.”

    Companies including Facebook, Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have been under pressure to take action to prevent the spread of false and misleading information on their sites. Facebook’s new policy to address “deepfake” videos has come under fire from some lawmakers and disinformation experts who say it fails to address other kinds of online manipulation.

    1. As if all the power over the market the left wants the govt to have “for the people” can’t be used to ‘encourage’ corporations to restrict the people.

  4. The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies

    You italicized that “not” because you’re trying to convince yourself, not us.

    We can use our eyes and see you’re completely full of shit in the most naive way possible.

    1. Reason’s logic it is a private company. Yet your gas and electric companies are private companies and can’t arbitrarily refuse you service. These companies if not outright monopolies are certainly oligopolies and not private companies in the true sense of the word. But don’t expect WOKE Reason to understand that. Just shutting people that they don’t agree with up is higher in their agenda.

      It is why we have the 2nd amendment, when try to censor people, yes you will get equally bad anti-censorship laws.

      1. Not only that, but it is a complete dodge and a red herring. The First Amendment is an idea and no part of assaulting it requires that the people doing the assaulting be government actors.

        1. OPEN QUESTIONS FOR ALL ENEMIES OF SECTION 230

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

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

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

          QUESTIONS FOR YOU THE JUROR:

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

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

          Will you be utterly delighted to serve on this jury? Keep in mind that OJ Simpson got an 11-month criminal trial! And a 4-month civil trial!

          1. It’s telling that you cant refute anything he said about your war on Free Speech so you spammed the thread instead.

            1. sarcasmic is slowly coming to terms with the fact that his lies and distractions aren’t even being engaged any longer. He knows that hiding behind “private business!!” is just cowardice and demonstrative of his lack of intellectual rigor.

              Knowing that, his choice is, as we can see, to scream and insult people like a child does.

              1. Hey, your threatened use of Government Almighty FORCE to MAKE me buy Reason Magazines is all wasted effort, FYI… I already buy it of my own free will!

                1. here you see him realizing his efforts to distract have failed so he must change the subject to personal attacks

                  1. These narratives as a documentary are great, keep them coming.

                  2. He’s certainly predictable.

            2. Why can’t or won’t you answer the above questions? Because they make self-righteous speech-power-pigs look BAD, am I correct? (Or am I correct?)

              1. as you can see, sarcasmic is always about distraction/division

              2. Your assertions were already answered thousands of times including in this thread.
                You’re not clever enough to argue against them, so you’re just spamming and shitposting and trying to ruin the comments.

                1. I noticed that you didn’t answer the above-listed questions. You never have. You ready to serve as juror for this wasted Government Almighty meddling?

                  1. Listen, sarc, if you are going to pretend to be a retard, slipping into normal English is just breaking character.

                    Stick to the copy pasta, retard.

                    So fucking broken.

                  2. here you see sarcasmic fail to understand that his own lack of acceptance of an answer is not the same as not giving an answer

                  3. I can’t even see them, because I spamflag copypasta and gibberish.

          2. Every jury summons I have ever received has gone straight into the trash.

            Try again, retard.

            1. Goldilicks Gorillashit is happy to fix the world’s trouble by spewing self-righteous hate, all day, every day, on the Inter-tubes, but, comes time to do her civic duty, is NOWHERE to be found! What a surprise!

              1. “Goldilicks Gorillashit”

                ” spewing self-righteous hate”

                See? sarcasmic knows he’s wrong so he screams insults like a petulant child having his toy (censorship) taken away.

              2. Are you writing all of this down in your Notebook of Sin? Do you remember when you broke down and confessed that you catalogue the transgressions of every commenter that offends you? Do you remember swearing by The Garden of the Gods?

              3. “Goldilicks Gorillashit”

                And then Sqrlsy complains that other people here are mean.

                1. Hey MammaBahnFuhrer! Ya gonna fix it all with your universal fix, of tearing down Section 230, and punishing “Party A” for the writings of “Party B”? And, Marxist-style, having Government Almighty control private property (web sites)?

                  1. and here you see sarcasmic, aware that he has had his hypocrisy laid bare, attack some one else because sarcasmic knows his argument is unconvincing and his power is being threatened

                  2. Yeah, that was all just the voices in your head, you fascist lunatic.

      2. This is a terrible analogy. Gas and electric companies provide services through a state intermediary agency. Facebook and Twitter are purely private businesses that do not work through the government to reach their customers.

        1. Instead, it is the government that is increasingly working through a private intermediary (that is, social media companies) to silence, censor, and control speech that it deems inappropriate or dangerous.

        2. Gas and electric companies provide services through a state intermediary agency

          How the fuck does your moron ass think Facebook and Twitter arrive on your device?

          Magic you stupid fuck? Cable, phone, and Cell ALL are tightly bound to “state intermediary agencies.” You’re an imbecile.

          Jesus fuck it’s like you people TRY to stay as ignorant of history and technology as possible.

        3. Gas and electric companies provide services through a state intermediary agency.

          This isn’t universally true even in America.

          1. It is the case in my state. Perhaps it works differently elsewhere.

      3. I hope they’ll let us know when the baker does not have to bake the cake for a gay wedding, then any claims about “muh private business…” will not be hypocritical.

    2. The 1st Amendment is not under assault by social media companies. That being said, the moral value of the principle of free speech is.

      1. Distinction without a difference. The “moral value of the principle of free speech” is integral to the proper function of the 1st Amendment.

        1. Tend to agree. The 1st has value because it requires government to adhere to a moral principle, but absent that moral principle the 1st is just government telling people what to do and expressing a preference for behavior. An assault on the moral principle is also an assault on the 1st IMO.

        2. The 1st Amendment prohibits the government from restricting speech. Free speech is supposed to be generalized value of American society.

          1. And again without the cultural respect for the principle, the 1st loses its utility and becomes just another law to be ignored/worked around.

            Why are you just restating your position and not addressing mine at all? Is that all we are going to do here?

            They aren’t separable, the 1st requires at least an understanding and acceptance of the moral principle to have any effectiveness, full stop.

          2. I don’t see how that addresses either of our points. Am I missing your argument? Or is this that Libertarian thing some of you do where you restate a platitude over and over in a culty mantra like fashion because the argument escapes you?

            Yes the 1st amendment is a law that enshrines a principle. Explain how attacking the principle is not also attacking the law that enshrines the principle, as that seems to be what you’re saying.

            Attacking the principle has the effect of devaluing the law, and devaluing something is by my eyes an attack. Why am I wrong?

            1. I think you all are agreeing with each other using slightly different phrasing.

    3. Well put

  5. A few points.

    1) Section 230 is toast.

    I support Section 230. I’d love to believe there was a bipartisan coalition building around saving Section 230, but there isn’t. When Section 230 is repealed, they won’t need to get around the Republican filibuster because there won’t be a Republican filibuster. Talking about policy under Section 230 as if Section 230 weren’t being led to the electric chair on a bipartisan basis is a little delusional.

    2) Requiring social media companies to tolerate the speech of conservatives is far better than requiring social media companies to censor the speech of conservatives.

    Because neither policy is perfect doesn’t mean one isn’t vastly superior to the other in regards to free speech.

    3) The Democrats will use the pending antitrust cases to regulate conservative speech to the dust bin under the guise of “hate speech” just as soon as the social media companies to terms on a consent decree with the Biden administration via the Justice Department and the FTC.

    In progressive parlance, opposition to abortion is misogynist, opposition to gay marriage is homophobic, support for a wall on our southern border is xenophobic, and opposition to affirmative action is racist. Yes, the opinions of average Republicans will be scrubbed from social media under the guise of hate speech.

    4) The bills we’re seeing to protect the speech of conservatives online are being brought up with these realities in mind.

    If we want to intelligently discuss what these bills are doing and why, it’s necessary to at least mention the realities behind them. The purpose of libertarians shouldn’t be to skew people’s views in a libertarian way, but, rather, the purpose of libertarians should be to throw light on the libertarian truth in context when we discuss these issues with other people.

    1. >>bipartisan coalition

      (R) and (D) at the fed level are same-team.

    2. Note to foreign readers: all conservative speech is hate speech ranging from girl-bullying to having people murdered in their beds over plant leaves, and in between endorsing all other forms of coercion practiced by the other half of the Kleptocracy. The only two things conservatives appear to not hate are Trump and Jesus, but the latter was only invented in 150 CE and has never been shown to have existed at all.

  6. “The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies. ”

    Orlly?

    The War on Free Speech Is About To Get a Lot Uglier
    The awful events of January 6 accelerated trends in left-of-center circles, particularly within media and technology companies

    So you’re saying your co-worker is a liar? Or an idiot?

    1. They can have different opinions and conclusions.

      However, I have to agree in principle. While Soave is entitled to his own conclusions, he isn’t entitled to his own facts.

      We saw entire groups, including the “walk away” movement, wiped off the map in the wake of the January riot, even if they were completely uninvolved in this incident. On the other hand, we see outright and explicit insurrection in the form of these autonomous zones tolerated and supported by the media. However, the one right wing riot of the past year was turned into a boogeyman of extreme proportions.

      1. Also, why is Reason completely ignoring the George Floyd autonomous zone, which turned lethal almost immediately?

        I shouldn’t have to turn to British sources to get information on this.

        See the Daily Mail article;
        Youth mentor, 30, shot and killed in George Floyd square as his aunt slams activists in the autonomous zone who wouldn’t let Minneapolis cops in to treat him and dumped him outside of it

    2. He’s right on both counts.

    3. Looks like an opportunity for a roundtable that might finally be worth listening to.

      And they need drinks because they’ll both tone their rhetoric down too much without it.

  7. So much for the claim that the GOP favors small government.

    1. I favor days off work. Doesn’t mean I don’t ever go to work.

      1. But you don’t do anything to actively increase the amount of time you need to spend at work. Unlike the GOP, which actively works for expanded government, as demonstrated by this bill.

        1. but Krychek_2 they TOOK DOWN MY POST!!!

          Needz Moah Government Almighty!

          (/Sarc)

          1. Ok Krychek_2

          2. He admits he is sarc!

            (/ almost not sarc)

        2. “But you don’t do anything to actively increase the amount of time you need to spend at work”

          No Shrike your stupid pedophile ass is wrong again. YOU don’t try to fix things while at work because you’re a low rent do nothing piece of shit. That’s why you think no one else does either.

          And not one single person who reads this thread sees your reply with your sock puppet “SQRLSY One” and is fooled. No one. You know your post got leveled and your socking is all the proof we need to know you know. So thank you for that, I like when people tell me they were wrong and I was right.

    2. How is any government action that takes away the legal right of every citizen to seek redress for grievances against defamation and gives special rights to some media companies while not to others “small government”? Section 230 should fail on the basis of both due process and equal treatment clauses.

      Social media companies want the immunity of a platform technology while deciding what stays and what goes, just like any other media company. You can sue the NYT or Chicago Tribune if they choose to print defamatory private editorial opinions, but because of 230, can’t sue FB for doing the same thing.

      1. Social media companies argue in favor of 230 under the concept that the technology doesn’t exist to remove defamatory content…. while actually using that technology to remove content they don’t like.

        1. So… We will FIX it all, by allowing / encouraging the punishment of “Party A” for the writings of “Party B”? Can we START by punishing BluWaterBullShit for MY writings?

          1. Here you see sarcasmic demonstrating that he cannot understand the discussion, nor the actual arguments, so he must again distract from his own ignorance and unwillingness to forgo his ideological allies’ recently attained censorship power over others. And he hates it, and attacks other people out of fear and resentment for taking his toy (censorship) away.

    3. Smaller government is not giving companies extra legal protections for special interests.

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

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

        1. You really can’t think critically, can you? It’s all just a giant cloud of emotion and impulse, huh?

          1. Alcoholism will do that.

          2. MammaBahnFuhrer AGAIN evades the issues, and resorts to insults alone! What a surprise!

            1. here you see sarcasmic, sensing an what he thinks is an opening, try to turn the discussion into a pig wrestling match in order to distract from his own failure to persuade

            2. It’s “bannfuhrer”, retard.

            3. “resorts to insults alone!”

              Speaking of which:

              “MammaBahnFuhrer”
              “self-righteous speech-power-pigs”
              “Goldilicks Gorillashit”
              “BluWaterBullShit”
              “JesseBahnFuhrer”
              “Nardz the Nazi”

              It’s like dealing with an idiot, shit-covered monkey.

            4. MammaBahnFuhrer is a viper! Call a spade a spade, and a viper, a viper! Deal with it, crybaby! If honest labels were good enough for Jesus to use, they are good enough for me to use!

              Jesus called them vipers and sons of vipers! See https://biblehub.com/matthew/23-33.htm

              1. Everyone knows “spade” is a dog whistle for “nigger,” you insufferable racist piece of trash.

              2. You’re teetering dangerously close to blasphemy Sqrlsy. I’d have a good look at the log in your own eye before screaming about the mote in others.

                1. Read ye THIS, Jesus-killer!

                  http://www.churchofsqrls.com/Do_Gooders_Bad/

                  You who won’t even read a few paragraphs, are too stupid and lazy to read it, amIright?

                  1. “Jesus-killer!”

                    I’m not Jewish, but I know anti-Semitic tropes when I see them. Sqrlsy is Misek after all.

                    1. MammaBahnFuhrer, ass ass usual, refuses to read the cited link!

                      From the cited link:

                      “The Jews killed Jesus” say those of shallow understanding. A BETTER, more detailed understanding would be, “First we grew fish brains, and the instincts and emotions than went with them. Then ditto lizard brains, then monkeys, then apes, and human hunter-gatherer brains, instincts, and emotions. As culture-bearing, supposedly fully thinking beings, by now we should have made that post-hunter-gatherer mental, ethical, and moral leap. Jesus (and etc.) was (were) killed by those who couldn’t or wouldn’t make that final leap.”

                      The ethically advanced ones among us know that always immediately (in “standard operating mode”) taking away the other guy’s dignity doesn’t add to our dignity. The search for dignity is NOT generally a zero-sum game! Yet balanced against that, we do no one any favors when we refuse to criticize people who are wrong! Jesus called them vipers and sons of vipers! See https://biblehub.com/matthew/23-33.htm

                      READ it, lazy MammaBahnFuhrer, ass ass usual!!!!

                    2. I’m not going to read your insane heresy, and shouldn’t you be banned for advertising your website here?

                      Also: https://www.whois.com/whois/churchofsqrls.com

                2. HERE is MammaBahnFuhrer evading the VERY smallest attempt at GLANCING at the log in her own blinded eyes!

                  Mother’s Lament
                  March.16.2021 at 1:31 pm
                  I can’t even see them, because I spamflag copypasta and gibberish.

                  1. Are you saying you’re the log, Sqrlsy?

                    1. Willfully, stubbornly proud, lazy MammaBahnFuhrer, PROUD of being obtuse, can NOT, and WILL not, see as valid, ANY criticism of MammaBahnFuhrer!

                      Did you know that humility is a virtue, MammaBahnFuhrer?

                      Humility is a MUCH underappreciated virtue! See this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/27/army-has-introduced-new-leadership-value-heres-why-it-matters.html Even in a supposedly “proud” profession, wise leaders treasure humility!

                    2. If anyone is lazy it’s the lunatic who spams copypasta instead of writing coherent refutations.

        2. And here you see sarcasmic both lying about John’s position (while John is absent and can’t correct him) and misunderstanding the point of the discussion, then attacking another, different poster out of nothing more than personal animosity.

          1. Totally evasive! Refute my point!

            “(while John is absent and can’t correct him)”

            Stalin is absent too… Dare I not criticize Stalin either, Oh All-Knowing Bossy One?

            1. “resorts to insults alone!”

              Later…

              “John is Stalin!”

              What a dishonest piece of shit you are.

              1. I never wrote that John is or was Stalin.

                I will be happy to go on record as saying that MammaBahnFuhrer is an Evil One Junior, servant to Evil One Senior, Father of Lies! Luster after ALL power over ALL the inferiors of MammaBahnFuhrer, which are ALL life-forms other than MammaBahnFuhrer! You MammaBahnFuhrer of the unquenchable thirst!

                You who worship the money-power-status variety of “success” (or being conservaturd politically correct in the case of MammaBahnFuhrer) would be well served by listening to the words of “The Boss”, AKA Bruce Springsteen… From the song “Badlands”, which is an anthem to the pursuit of TRUE happiness, which is a path that you are NOT on right now!

                Poor man wanna be rich,
                rich man wanna be king,
                And a king ain’t satisfied,
                till he rules everything…

                Got news for ya, Buddy… King ain’t NEVER gonna rule everything! So this mentality is a sure-fire guarantee for dissatisfaction, for unhappiness.

                Jesus warned us about the “yeast of the Pharisees” (hypocrisy in general), meaning as an analogy, a tiny-tiny biological infection or seed can spread and spread and spread, and contaminate an entire culture or society. This idea that I can gain more, by cutting you down, is one of those idea-infections (“toxic memes” in modern parlance). Once it starts, it is hard to stop. It might apply to status and money and power, especially in sick organizations, but if those 3 things are your be-all and end-all, I really do feel sorry for you. “No good deed goes unpunished”, and “nice guys finish last” applies to money-power-status; yes, they often do! But NOT to genuine self-esteem! You can choose to serve high principles, or to serve money… You can’t serve both. Choose wisely!

                1. Welp, Sqrlsy obviously doesn’t fear God.

                  1. I obey my conscience, which = God. When are YOU gonna obey YOUR conscience, power pig?

    4. Error in that quotation. It’s “The GOP favors invading small governments.” See Panama, Granada, Colombia, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Korea.

  8. Has there been a bill anywhere at any level from local town council to the US Congress in the last 50 years that wasn’t a mess?

    1. Yes… Section 230! It LIMITED the powers of Government Almighty, which is an all too rare thing these days! It was (is) also very plain and simple!

      1. And here you see sarcasmic framing the attack on personal liberty as a limit on government.

      2. One small problem with that. Section 230 was not passed as a stand alone bill. Are you suggesting that nothing else in that bill was a mess?

        Hint: Other sections of that bill were struck down by the courts.

  9. The bill would appear to interfere with the day-to-day runnings of the site in very basic ways. It could even force social media sites to take away moderation options from users.

    You mean like blocking a user on their own twitter feed?

    1. The funny thing is that they can manage to run their website in this way in other countries like Poland and now in India where there are laws against altering or removing someone else’s content and there is no 230 special immunity. These countries are not the social media hellholes that the social media companies would suggest would happen here.

      1. Well, I would be careful about any government action telling a social media company how to moderate its own platform. I think it’s a very dangerous precedent (just as telling Twitter that a 1′ x 1′ square of their user space was effectively nationalized was a bad idea– a decision that Sullum was pleased with, by the by. And pleased with on entirely dubious grounds, but TDS is a helluva drug).

        Also, while Robby is technically correct, the first amendment is not under assault by social media companies, but the principles of free speech absolutely are. So what we have are essentially very powerful institutions that control a major segment of the public square who are engaging in anti-free speech activity. While I agree they have a right to be assholes, I think it’s important that we call them out as assholes in every available instance.

  10. Section 230 does not give the social media platforms carte blanche to regulate user content without incurring liability. The “good faith” phrasing is supposed to have meaning and not be a dead letter. The platforms have been abusing Section 230 protections and under strong suggestions about what content to eliminate from the Democrats.

    Furthermore, freedom of expression and thought as a value is more than just 1st Amendment protections from government and that is under assault from the dominant social media platforms.

    1. The good faith provision is definitely being bent over the rail, but unfortunately, there’s so much leeway that hacks like Dorsey and Zuckerberg (particularly Dorsey) can claim almost anything was in good faith. The “otherwise objectionable” can literally be, “I don’t like conservatives and I will ban any and everything that smacks of conservatism”.

      1. Unfortunately, the exceptions of 230 have eaten the rule in the courts. I remain annoyed by Reason’s writers ignoring the actual language of Section 230 to suggest that the intent was to allow the platforms to do anything without incurring any legal responsibility. They either are being lazy or are gaslighting the readership.

        1. I agree their coverage of 230 has been rather flip and shallow, like their coverage of Qualified Immunity. In the absence of section 230, the First Amendment remains the law of the land. So any legislation that violates their first amendment rights will and should be overturned.

          I’ve been on the fence about section 230, but I’m leaning towards “it’s not necessary”. I don’t believe any platform would be held responsible for the content of their users in the complete absence of section 230. And the absence of 230 doesn’t mean that the platforms can’t moderate. Why anyone believes that in the absence of 230, moderation is somehow magically off the table. Unless you believe that which is not explicitly allowed is automatically verboten.

          1. The intent of 230 seems to be allow moderation for genuinely illegal obscene or harassing content without incurring liability for the content that remains. It was not to police viewpoints without incurring liability for the content they do allow. For some reason Soave thinks that is the way it should be. Without 230 they will be able to moderate, but they will be theoretically liable for the content that remains. 230 seems to be a laudable idea in theory, but it has been distorted in practice.

    2. “platforms have been abusing Section 230 protections”

      And this is what our resident establishment lefties have been purposefully ignoring and refusing to acknowledge. An unprecedented attack on free speech using the Good Samaritan clause as a stalking horse, completely contrary to it’s intent.

  11. Political bias on social media is one of the biggest issues animating the political right these days,

    Robbie it animates the d and r. The only difference is that the (r) complain they are being censored, and the (D) complain they are not being censored enough. Everyone acknowledges that it is a political editorial. That means 230 doesn’t apply

  12. Just amend 230 to apply to Bakers and Photographers, and all will be well.

    1. Yeah man Longtobefree go Longtobefree go!!!!

      (Freedom works; why don’t we try it some time?)

      1. So you’re saying you’re against a regulation that is favored for a specific industry and want it to be the norm.. yet you attacked me for that sentiment above sarc. You are truly an emotional and ignorant person.

        1. Hey JesseBahnFuhrer… No matter HOW many times you tell your “Big Lie”, it is NOT true! You’re part of the mob, aren’t you? For a small fee, you tell small businesses that you will “protect” them… From you and your mob! Refute the below, ye greedy authoritarian who wants to shit all over the concept of private property!

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

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

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

          1. It’s bannfuhrer, retard, unless Jesse is a station master for Amtrak.

            1. I just see shit spittle come lut when he uses German badly. Which is always.

              1. JesseBahnFuhrer and MammaBahnFuhrer are good NAZI leaders instead of a spelling-bee leaders? Is THAT supposed to make me trust JesseBahnFuhrer and MammaBahnFuhrer more?
                “bann german to english” … = “spell”
                Google it, pro-ignorance ones!

                Y’all are foisting yourselves off as mere spelling-bee leaders, while you want to RAILROAD us off into Trumptatorshit and worse! Y’all want to herd us onto your railroad cars to slave labor camps and worse! Oh, trust us, as we herd you onto your rail cars, we are mere spelling-bee leaders! Bullshit, liars!

            2. “The banality of Evil” https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/07/hannah-arendt-the-banality-of-evil/
              The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt on the Normalization of Human Wickedness and Our Only Effective Antidote to It

              JesseBahnFuhrer, the one who would railroad us all into fascist, power-pig evil? NO! Let’s downgrade that name into JesseBannFuhrer, the spelling-bee leader! If THAT doesn’t smell like “The banality of Evil”, then what, pray tell, does?

  13. while Robby is wrong on this issue about social media silencing the right per request by our government I also don’t like what some republicans are doing since it will bring us back to the old days of equal time and shows like Rush Limbaugh, may the god of all talk radio rest in peace, an impossible undertaking and is a form of silencing by requiring others to speak.
    this is a no win scenario

    1. while Robby is wrong on this issue about social media silencing the right per request by our government

      This is a very complex subject. Yesterday, I posted a video of an academic talk given by a veteran news journalist that discussed the censorship and trend of “third party fact checking”. She traced it back to a talk given by Obama where in a speech he suggested that someone needed to step in and start ‘curating the news’ on the internet to stop the onslaught of “fake news” which ostensibly threatened the Democratic party.

      One of the non-profits started to help censor and curate this was an organization called “First Draft” which was funded by Alphabet/Google, who at the time was headed at the time by a man named Eric Schmidt who was a major Hillary Clinton contributor.

      The censorious nature of the social media companies has been a carefully orchestrated operation by various actors who have very strong ties to various elected officials, or officials which have (had) the potential to be running the government (in this case Hillary Clinton).

      Libertarians like to believe there’s this bright line between private actors and the government, and many times there aren’t. If you run a major tech company whose business is essentially speech and information, and you have the personal wealth and resources to attempt or help get someone elected, your actions can have a very direct affect on how people talk about your preferred candidate who may very well end up in office one day.

      There is a pure first amendment argument that says that ALL of that activity should be 100% legal. But I still say it’s important to call it out, report on it, and be aware of who’s running these companies and how their political donations trend.

      1. Agreed and as another example when Bill Clinton left office so many of his advisers went straight to TV news and opinions. it should have been embarrassing to the networks but they laughed with glee their working along side a certain party. This only cementing their partisan ways in the eyes of the public despite their continued claims of being non partisan. We know who is behind the curtain since they are right there in front of it.

    2. this is a no win scenario

      No it’s not. Repeal 230. Done.

      Unless you meant protecting free speech, then it’s never done. Even if the law plainly says ‘make no law preventing the free and peaceful practice of religion’, there would still be authoritarians hunting down Jews in the attic and locking down Churches on Easter even without Facebook.

    3. Rush Limbaugh and all of talk radio donot have section 230 protection

  14. it’s time to end social media’s companies entire existence. It’s a poisonous cancer on society. Twitter and Facebook execs should be prosecuted.

  15. The First Amendment is not under assault by social media companies.

    Right. They’re just sleeping with it’s overbearing, abusive husband.

    The fact that Facebook runs ads asking the government to pull its hair, smack its ass, and maybe choke it a little bit says a lot. The fact that Reason sits in the corner going “Ooh, that’s hot!” pretty much says the rest.

    1. This kind of shit can’t be pointed out often enough. Again, this goes to this perceived ‘bright line’ between the so-called ‘private corporations’ and the government.

    2. Holy fucking shit.

      Supporting thoughtful changes to Section 230
      We support thoughtful updates to internet laws, including Section 230, to make content moderation systems more transparent and to ensure that tech companies are held accountable for combatting child exploitation, opioid abuse, and other types of illegal activity

      Can one count the grains of salt in a salt mine?

  16. >>It would be more accurate to say that the First Amendment is under assault by the Texas legislature.

    the entire Texas legislature is made of fools from every corner of the state it’s like a black hole for idiots. ignore twitter’s influence and it will have no influence.

  17. Free speech is an inalienable right, “Facebook and Twitter from taking action against content that is harmful, abusive, or spammy. “ isn’t.

    1. Who determines what is “harmful, abusive, or spammy’? See that is always the problem. Maybe the people that lied about deaths in NY nursing homes? Or the people that lied about the Capitol policeman being murdered by being hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, or the people that lied and said Trump told Georgia to find fraud?
      Hey i have a guy for you, Alex Jones of Infowars, how would you like him deciding what is “harmful, abusive, or spammy’?
      I vote for Alex Jones for determining the truth.

      1. I don’t know what is like to be so stupid that the concept of discerning the truth is terrifying.

        It’s easy to discern truth and easy to expose lies. One simply has to value it.

        The courts have successfully implemented laws against perjury for centuries to maintain the only environment of justice, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        Maybe you misunderstood. The default has to be the freedom to speak. If a law is perceived to be broken, we don’t want big tech vigilantes. We want due process in court.

  18. Next, ban all moderation censorship of citizens by any platform that invites citizens to speak.

  19. When hustlers sold me a worthless calling card I complained to Greg Abbot. About a week later they returned my $5 and gave me a replacement card. Faecepuke and Twits need to be real careful about messin’ with Texas.

    1. What about the Corn Laws and Comstock?

  20. Interesting item to add to the discussion:

    1. Lol chemjeff…

      The Unfounded Claim that Social Media Companies
      Censor Conservatives

      by PAUL M. BARRETT & J. GRANT SIMS”

      “Paul M. Barrett is an assistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg. He is the author of the New York Timesbestseller Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, and The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America. He lives and works in New York City.”

      A Study Touted As A Blow To Conservatives’ Complaints About Big Tech Censorship Was Funded By A Major Biden Donor

      “The study was funded by Craig Newmark, the billionaire founder of Craigslist, who contributed $100,000 to help Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.”

      This is about as legit as me paying a Breitbart editor to do a “study” finding that Trump’s farts cure cancer.

      1. Dammit

      2. It was also done at NYU lol.

      3. From the study…

        the right spreads more content that violates platform rules than the left. In light of this discrepancy, it stands to reason that right-leaning content would face labeling, demotion, or removal more frequently than left- leaning content.

        Lol. It begs the question. The systems are biased left, so the rules are biased left, so conservatives are banned more, but no bias as they break the rules.

        Lol. God damn youre an idiot jeff.

    2. Is that the study that says on the study the NYPost story on Hunter Biden was rightly taken down as it involved stolen material? Why yes it is. Lol. Totes accurate. Did you even fucking read it?

  21. From the Executive Summary:
    But the claim of anti-conservative
    animus is itself a form of disinformation:
    a falsehood with no reliable evidence
    to support it. No trustworthy largescale studies have determined that
    conservative content is being removed
    for ideological reasons or that searches are being manipulated to favor
    liberal interests.

  22. And the VERY root of the problem at hand???
    Too much Crony National Socialism…

    Shady Gov Grants, Stimulus, Crooked Politicians with enough Crony Regulations to threaten private business with Crony Regulation.

    “Google, Facebook would not exist without government funding.”, Obama 2012.

    Sadly; Many on the Right are playing the old Democratic toe-line that MORE National Socialism will fix the problems rooted in National Socialism.

    WRONG APPROACH! Don’t GROW regulation, CUT regulation and the POWER of the fed. <- That is the correct solutions.

  23. Went to American Thinker and copied the title of one of the articles straight into Google. After reviewing the first 10 pages of output, I gave up looking for a hit. Put the same string into Bing and DuckDuckGo and it was the 1st hit. The only way to get it as the first hit from Google is to enclose it in double quotes.

    If this isn’t a de facto example of censorship, then what is?

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