Section 230

How Press Freedom—and Section 230—Led to Derek Chauvin's Conviction

Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly.


When Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of killing George Floyd, it was a victory not just for justice but for free speech—a freedom currently threatened by a bipartisan coalition of federal legislators.

That's the compelling argument made by Michael Socolow, a communications and journalism professor at the University of Maine:

It was the culture and tradition of U.S. civil liberties and media freedom that played an essential role in protecting Frazier's ability to record and retain possession of the video, and the capability of commercial corporations to publish it.

Had the same events transpired in China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Singapore or elsewhere, nobody might ever have learned of Floyd's fate.

Socolow appreciates how the ubiquity of cell phones and other recording devices has made it easier to capture official malfeasance, but he stresses that the real difference-maker is citizens' ability to distribute what they capture over platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. These sites are protected by Section 230, the 1996 law that gives websites legal immunity for most user-generated content while also giving them maximum latitude to moderate content as they see fit. Section 230 is often called the "26 words that created the internet" and "the internet's First Amendment."

Socolow notes that both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have called for the repeal or evisceration of Section 230, as have such strange bedfellows as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.), Ted Cruz (RTexas), Josh Hawley (R–Mo.), and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Socolow also tells a fascinating story from a century ago. In Minneapolis (of all places), Jay Near, the rabidly anti-Semitic editor of The Saturday Press, thought the police were part of a Jewish cabal. Near and his partner were blocked under Minnesota's "public nuisance law" from publishing their admittedly fact-free and defamatory charges, but they ended up winning a landmark Supreme Court case. In Socolow's words, the Court ruled that "the U.S. Constitution allowed the abuse of press freedom in order to protect the most vibrant and robust public discussion possible."

Modern press freedom was born with that decision, says Socolow. "Had Minnesota's Public Nuisance Law survived Near's challenge," he writes, it "very well might have prevented publication of [Darnella] Frazier's video [of Chauvin murdering George Floyd]. Those images could easily have been deemed 'obscene,' or a 'malicious' or 'scandalous' incitement to violence." Under Section 230, he adds,

defamatory accusations, negligent misrepresentation, intentional nuisance, dangerous misinformation and even content intended to incite emotional distress can be posted without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other companies being sued or held civilly liable.

For better or worse, Section 230 establishes media freedom across the internet in the U.S. And it is this law, built on the traditions of media freedom, that allowed Darnella Frazier—and all citizens who follow in her footsteps—to stand up to the government in ways previously unimaginable.

Publishers and individuals can be sued for libelous and false allegations once they are made public, but the onus is heavily stacked against presumptively banning such speech, especially when it involves public officials. Socolow's account shines a harsh light on government actors' attempts to limit what can be shared online: It's not about protecting the little people, but those in power.

As Socolow concludes,

The direct line from Minneapolis in the 1920s to Minneapolis in the 2020s is the notion that protecting people's rights promises to foster an active, aware and engaged citizenry—and that violating those rights by repressing or censoring information is deeply anti-American.

NEXT: New York's Failed Political Class Puzzles Over Why Voters Seem To Prefer Outsider Andrew Yang

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  1. Imagine a world where the media were honest and trustworthy.

    1. Walter Cronkite is dead.

      1. He was a liar too.

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      2. The same horrible fraud that lied about the Tet Offensive? Turned a great victory into a great defeat in the minds of the public?

        Imagine if he took that same approach to Gettysburg or D-Day.

        May he burn in hell.

      3. Cronkite was the most trusted man in America because they confused him with Captain Kangaroo

    2. Imagine a world where Gillespie wasn't a pillow bitter.

      We are in a terminal tailspin, and chuckle fucks like this guy are either lying outright or lying by the omission of truth.

      "I got property & training. The rest of ya'll are fooked. " Braveheart Irish Guy

      1. The thing is, if you don’t stand up for the inalienable rights of others, it’s only a matter of time until a more powerful force takes what you believe you own.

        1. How about the inalienable rights of Jews, Gypsies, gays, the mentally ill, etc. who were murdered by NAZIs, you NAZI-dick-sucking, Holocaust-denying bastard?!?!?!?

          Sane people with a grip on reality don’t deny history, as history is defined by a vast, vast majority of historians, with (in cases like this) boat-loads of evidence. No, historians and history aren’t perfect… Nothing (or hardly anything) is. But your denial of overwhelming consensus history shows some pretty severe paranoia… Everyone is out to “get you” and to trick you, right?
          I am doing a service to readers who aren’t familiar with your paranoia… Let all new (or newer) readers beware, much of what Rob Misek has to say, needs to be examined carefully!

          The Earth is actually flat, and the center of the Universe.
          A secret cabal of Jewish bankers is diabolically manipulating the world towards world-wide communism.
          Space aliens secretly comprise 10% of Earthings, and are twisting us and them towards the day when they will enslave and eat us all!
          The Earth is hollow, with a vast array of large, powerful beings living underneath us.
          Being part of a TINY-TINY elite of humans who know the “secret truth” is the other element of your serious whack… Paranoia, and “special elite knowledge”… The later is evidence of mania, of egomania… Some serious self-examination on your part, would be in order!

          You can show Rob Misek an endless parade of well-documented history books about the holocaust, interviews with a few survivors, and video of walking tours of holocaust museums and preserved genocide sites (gas chambers etc), photos of starved corpses stacked cordwood-style…
          And Rob Misek will “summarize” for you, saying,
          “OK, sure, I’ve heard that before! Ha!…
          ‘Mustache Man Bad’ hyped propaganda!”

          1. Go away you autistic clown

            1. Says the sucker-of-NAZI-butts...

              1. .......Do you think that’s funny or witty?

                Nobody that has ever read your semi literate scribble has ever come away better. Hitler at least had the autobahn. You have a lifetime on this site of stupid shit.

                1. Wow, what clever wit! Did your mommy help you write that?

                  1. People: Behold!!!. I present to you an autistic person. This is how they communicate.

                    Take note please

                    1. Sqrlsy's not autistic. He's severe Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and ADHD.

                2. No, he's just here to shit up the thread as signal interference, like static breaking up coms.

                  1. Wow, NAZIs defending NAZIs! Who'd have thunk it!

                    Hey Nadless Nardzi the Nasty NAZI… You are a Holocaust denier just like Rob Misek! Two peas in a pod, you and Rob Misek are!
                    Do you deny what the NAZIs did? Perhaps not, I do not know HOW far your evil goes! You strut in front of a mirror wearing NAZI gear for all I know!

                    What I DO know is that you ignore the roots of NAZI, and other, evil, mass-murdering authoritarianism! You, like Hitler and the NAZIs and other evil authoritarians, start out by assuming that YOU know whose life is worthy, and whose is not! Then you move on to sterilization and killing! It all starts out by denying the value of other human lives! And if you can’t or won’t see and acknowledge that, you’re a deluded and EVIL Holocaust denier, same as Rob Misek!

                    You and and your fuckbuddy, Shitsy Shitler, also run around telling people to commit suicide! I have NEVER been THAT evil! Nor even THOUGHT about saying that to people! Take stock of your SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP SOUL, Evil One Junior! Start by reading this: M. Scott Peck, the Hope for Healing Human Evil,

                    1. You wouldn’t know how to conduct yourself in a rational debate if your life depended on it.

                    2. Only Jew-hating NAZIs know how to be rational, right, Rob Miserable?

        2. Is petitioning the government for a redress of grievances an inalienable right or not? Do you stand with individuals against congress passing a law abridging the freedom they previously enjoyed or not?

          1. Laws that violate rights are wrong,, should never have been passed in the first place and need to be corrected or eliminated.

            All the freedoms we currently enjoy/exploit are not inalienable rights nor should they be.

            Real rights cannot be in conflict.

            1. “Not” all the freedoms...

  2. "Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly"

    Imagine a world where the media doesn't act reprehensibly.

    1. I try. Every time I turn on Networthless TV, that illusion is destroyed.

      Back Benching morons.

      The most Fake show on TV is the Real and network TV is nothing but Police State violence. They portray that the only answer to every problem is some Cop murdering someone with a gun

      Guess where this all came from?

      TEE VEE!!

      1. The question becomes who is the idiot watching tv for news?

        There are plenty of honest, reputable sources to get actual news from and near none of the cable networks are it. They live on sensationalism- it's the only way to fill 24 hours a day (especially when they only report on one country generally.)

  3. So if we didn't have section 230, 30+ people would still be alive, 1000 of innocent people would not have suffered 2 billion in property damage, and an innocent man would still be walking free...... Explain to me how this article is supposed to convince anyone to support section 230?

    1. Lying is not a comment. Twisted reframing is neither

      1. I take it my mocking rephrasing of the article that made clear just how a ridiculous premise the article was based on, hit a nerve? Well don't blame me. Blame the dummy that tried to spin the speech that led to 30+ people being murdered, as a reason to support their pet issue.

        1. Dude, you're gibbering. Take your meds and try again.

          1. Nah, you're just in denial. Nothing good came from that video going up. It was one of the worst possible examples someone could have picked if they want to convince people section 230 is a good thing.

          2. No, he's absolutely right. The media crafted a completely bullshit narrative around an idiot junkie managing to auto-OD, and parlayed that into the violent results Illocust described. In order to further divide the nation and create a festering crisis for then-President Trump to try and solve.

            The media---and I count the writers of Reason in that category---are guilty as hell.

        2. Some of us got it

    2. an innocent man would still be walking free

      A cop so confident in his authority that he allowed himself to be filmed kneeling on a live man for 7 minutes and a dead man for 2 minutes. The only question was to what degree he was culpable. The jury's answer was 'all of them'.

      1. The prosecutors ended up bailing on the "kneeling on the neck killed him" idea people who have only see the video believe, and changed to the premise that Chauvin killed Floyd because keeping him prone caused positional asphyxia.

        One of the most damning pieces of evidence against Chauvin is the tape of one of the other officers (Lane) asking Chauvin twice to roll Floyd onto his side (the recovery position), which Chauvin refused.

        Which leads me to my question. If it was such great evidence that Officer Lane tried to stop Chauvin from doing what caused Floyd's death, twice, why is it that the prosecutors have not dropped the 3rd degree murder (aiding and abetting) charge against Officer Lane that has him facing 40 years?

    3. Oh- one of those people who thinks a guy outright murdering someone is "innocent."

      Please lead with that next time so I can know to immediately disregard your inane bullshit.

  4. Is this where Nick shills for communism again?

    1. Cultural Marxism at any rate.

      It's disgusting.

      1. No, he outright shilled for communism by earnestly putting forth the 'Stalinism isn't true communism/socialism' argument years after other true believers recognized the futility /stupidity and gave up.

        1. Both.
          The modern left has combined the worst aspects of the Soviet Union and the worst aspects of Nazism into their current ruling (not governing) method.

          1. And above the left, dictating all, is progressivism as the "elite"/establishment/Global Socialist Party.

  5. The Citizen in the street gets the videos.

    What means the Cops, their corrupt Employers (City, County, State) and the Ultry Corrupt Judicial system that un Constitutionally created the Police State can no longer hide behind IS that very Media coverage

    When its so blatant that NBCCMSABCPMSLSD can no longer deny it, ITS BAD.

    Famous Quote:

    Who was it that said:

    "Police are murdering people in the streets without Due PRocess?

    Not MLK

    FIRST PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON. Read the Constitution documents.

    They had to kill Englands police to gain their freedom.

    1. Royal assent to the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 was given[48] and the Metropolitan Police Service was established on September 29, 1829 in London.[49][50] Peel, widely regarded as the father of modern policing,[51] was heavily influenced by the social and legal philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, who called for a strong and centralised, but politically neutral, police force for the maintenance of social order, for the protection of people from crime and to act as a visible deterrent to urban crime and disorder.[52] Peel decided to standardise the police force as an official paid profession, to organise it in a civilian fashion, and to make it answerable to the public.[53]

      The British police were established in 1829. I believe that was a little late for the American Revolution.

  6. This is a silly take. Imagine a world where people didn’t grasp at straws so desperately to make a point.

    1. Lying is not a comment. You did neither prove, nor give any evidence whatsoever of your arbitrarily contradictory point of "no it isnt"

      No it isnt is the Liars favorite Meme.

      1. If you think cops murdering people in the streets is "silly take" then youre "mentally Ill.

      2. A difference of opinion is a lie now?

        1. Hate speech!


    The Democrats are nakedly enacting a power grab in this country, and the Very Smart People still think they'll be amenable to reason.

    1. No Nardz, they merely think they might be eaten last.

      Lots of change in the last three months, huh? Imagine what the next three will bring.

      I told you all that we were going to be absolutely amazed how fast things will change.

      1. "BuT iT cAn'T hApPeN hErE..."

  8. Every government goober should have a citizen with a camera in their face every minute of their workday.

    "I want the government to shrink in the wash. I want it both cleaner and smaller, please." ~ PJ O'Rourke

    Public scrutiny is the laundry detergent of government.

    1. Some public scrutiny. Other public 'scrutiny' (Antifa's, Reason's, the MSM's is the raw sewage of laundry detergents.

  9. Now do LeBron James threatening a man for saving a teenage girl's life, then playing the victim.

    1. LOL now he's claiming to be a victim?

      1. Pretty much, and sports media is very much portraying him as victim now

  10. This is a very strange take, since it's the government that was wanting to convict him and leading the mob that wanted to lynch him. The defense was the underdog.

    A better example would be the recent media harassment and firing of donors to Kyle Rittenhouse's defense fund. Which was only disclosed by someone hacking and releasing the data for the funding site (which is an obscure one, since the big ones like GoFundMe won't touch non-woke causes).

    Twitter banned any discussion of Hunter Biden's laptop because it was supposedly hacked (even though it wasn't), meanwhile data taken from a hacked source used to attack just regular people who happen to be unwoke is perfectly fine.

    So what's the point of Section 230, then? Tech will censor conservatives regardless

  11. And still we wonder, who killed Ashli Babbit?

    1. Doesn’t matter because reasons.

  12. What? If we abolish section 230 we get Chinese style censorship? That's what this article seems to imply. How would the repeal of 230 suppress the publication of the video?

    Can someone make that connection for me?

    1. How would the repeal of 230 suppress the publication of the video?"
      it doesn't and that makes us wonder what was the article saying. Don't even think it falls into the strawman argument .

    2. You're right. Without 230, we would never have seen things like the Rodney King beating video.

      1. David Koresh, Randy Weaver... You can be sure Twitter would treat them as any good Samaritan would.


    An elaborate nationally televised funeral for a man who choked a woman, robbed her a gun point, and sexually assaulted her while stealing her rent money

    LIVE: Mourners gather in Minneapolis for the funeral of Daunte Wright, who was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. [Video]"

    1. No Gold Coffin, no care.

  14. Two men's lives ruined, and you're touting the failed section 230 and social media as some kind of panacea. Libertarians are idiots.

    The heat would have been a lot less without the hot takes and utter steaming bullshit perpetrated by the media and idiots using social media all day.

    1. Please don’t associate anything related to this article with libertarianism.

      Maybe the LP, or Reason, but not libertarianism as a whole.

  15. "Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly."

    Mr. Gillespie, um, media outlets are the single most hated group of people in polite society--and that's according to Gallup.

    Just before the election in November of 2020, 89% of Republicans, 27% of Democrats, and 64% of Independents had little or no faith in the media to report the news fairly and accurately--and media outlets haven't done anything to redeem themselves since then. Now, it's probably even worse.

    If the fate of Section 230 depends on the extent to which the American people have sympathy for media outlets, Section 230 is doomed. Want to save Section 230? Try to get people to imagine a world in which average Americans couldn't argue about these things because Section 230 was gone.

    Repealing Section 230 will actually help the biggest and baddest media outlets--and that's a great reason to keep it. Repealing Section 230 will make it much harder for average Americans to say what they want to say and have it heard, and that is why average people should support Section 230.

    1. That's a losing battle though. Section 230 protects censorship and censors. Having it repealed would mean engaging in censorship opens you up to liability. The options would be checking everything before it was posted, or behaving as a platform not a content curator. The average American would see an increase in their ability to speak freely.

      1. "Having it repealed would mean engaging in censorship opens you up to liability. "

        No. Repealing 230 means that the platform is liable for all user-generated content. Full stop. There is no other law protecting companies from liability if they "don't censor". Indeed, the whole reason 230 was created was because all sorts of suits were being brought against companies by states and private individuals who didn't like the content being generated by Users on those sites.

        If you get rid of 230, then the only content that will be published is the content of the website owners. No more blogs. No more photo sharing. No more comment threads. Because if you are liable for all user created content, you are not going to allow it unless you have vetted it.

        If you really are interested in learning more, try this site:

        1. Section 230 only applies to platforms. As soon as they start making editorial decisions they ceed section 230 protections. Google Facebook and Twitter are all making editorial decisions.

        2. Linking a retarded commie fuck who is part of the problem is probably not your best bet here.

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

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

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

            Hi Fantastically Talented Author:

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

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

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

            Thank You! -Reason Staff

            1. Gibbering shit eater gibbers again. Fuck off, Squirrel.

              1. "Linking a retarded commie fuck who is part of the problem is probably not your best bet here."

                What a truly DEEEEEP thought! (But it lacks a citation, ass is ass usual for tribalistic right-wing nut jobs, lusting after the pure power of echo chambers alone... Logic and facts need not apply!)

                1. Piss off, retard.

                  1. Make me, MooseFucking Moron!

        3. Except that's full of bullshit. If I place a bulletin board up that anyone can put ads on, I'm not held liable for whatever ads someone puts up unless I moderate them. This is already established case law that far far proceeds the internet. Nice try though.

  16. We live in that world. See the media's coverage of the Capitol Police shooting of Ashlie Babbit. They won't even give the officer's name much less do anything to bring him to account for what was clearly a horrible shoot. The fact that the media will publish police wrong doing when their corporate and political masters think it is to their advantage, doesn't mean what Gillespie is trying to claim here.


    Breaking: BLM stormed the Oklahoma Capitol building yesterday during house session over GOP bill protecting drivers fleeing riots, police from doxxing. [Video]

    1. So... insurrectionism?

      1. Peaceful protest, by earnest citizens concerned about preserving the vitality of impromptu street assemblies.

        Totally different than what happened in the Capitol in January.

  18. Unless it is the New York Post publishing a critical story on Hunter Biden.

    Project Veritas publishing a piece critical of mainstream media outlets being in bed with the Democrats.

    Anyone on YouTube who dares to question the CDC or WHO narratives on the pandemic.

    There are plenty of instances, just in the past year where people have been shut down from speaking for commenting on the questionable behavior of the authorities. We do not live in a world where free speech is tolerated unless it serves a leftist agenda.

    1. Or is a journalist with a tape of Planned Parenthood admitting they sell body parts for profit. You really have to kind of admire the sheer gall and shamelessness of this article. How could anyone type such driven with a straight face?

      1. This all. The worst that section 230 removal would do is put progressives in the same boat as conservatives are already in. Most likely it would result in everyone having more freedom.

        1. Yes which is why the left loves 230 and wants to keep it. The left hates speech. The idea that the left supports a statute that enables more speech is absurd on it's face and counter to everything that is known about the left. What a joke.

          1. What is a joke is that the right-wing nuts have NO IDEA what it means, when they say, "what is good for the goose, is good for the gander"!

            Right-wing nuts fantasize of a "Ministry of Right-Wing Truth", in the TOTAL ABSENCE of a "Ministry for Protecting Your Baby Feelings"! Ya stupid fools take notice yet? You LOST the last election for POTUS! Elections have consequences! Powers for Government Almighty, in YOUR wet dreams, will quickly be deployed (after the next elections) to dump TONS of ice on your pathetic wet dreams! Be careful what you wish for! Duh! Double-duh, even!


            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!


            “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. SQRLSY One


              1. Thank You SOOOOO much for your truly DEEEEEEP thoughts!

                1. Irony is lost on ypu

                  1. I notice NO answers to my questions! That's because they make morons look bad!

                    Better and smarter (and most of all, more benevolent) folks have taken guff from those more EVIL than they are, since time immemorial. Full documentation here...

                    1. "I notice NO answers to my questions!"

                      There's not need to answer your "questions".

                      Go back to gagging on your skin flute.

                    2. Tribalistic power-hungry morons HAVE no sensible answers to my questions! What a surprise! More news at 11:00!

    2. Amen

  19. >>Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid

    you people may literally be the *most* unable and afraid

    1. "Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid"

      Like with Hunter's laptop? Or Obama using the FBI and CIA to spy on political opponents? Or the Parler hoax?

      1. the list is long and distinguished.

        the job description is "expose oppression". it's the only thing they should ever focus on.

        A warning to not bother to try to educate Mamma… She tells bald lies, and when she can’t defend them, all she does is insult better, more educated and logical, more benevolent, and less authoritarian people who TRY to get Her to see the light. She defines words however She likes, contrary to normal people who use words normally. Do NOT engage, unless you want to waste your time!

        Mamma lie out-take from the above link:
        “…Facebook and Google are quasi-government entities and not “private” companies in any meaningful way.” (End quote)

        Authoritarian Mamma feels totally free to re-define ANY of your freely chosen activities with others, as being driven by “quasi-government entities”, and then subjecting your activities to the rules of Mamma and Her Echo Chambers!

        1. Shit eater. And speaker, apparently.

          1. Thank You SOOOoooOOOoooOOOOoooOO much for your truly DEEEeeeEEEEeeeEEEP thoughts!

            (Have any more? If not, maybe check the kitty-litter box!)

        2. No lies there, you trolling DNC shill.

          I'm glad you linked to it because I proudly stand behind every word.

          The truth infuriates you doesn't it Sqrlsy, because you have been a liar here from the very beginning. If M. Scott Peck were alive, he'd spit in your face and tell you to quit using his book as a cover for your dishonesty.

          1. See

            …for Mamma the Moosefucking Theologian holding forth on Christianity, and HOW it justifies ID theft!

            Hey Mamma the Highly Esteemed, Expert Christian Theologian!

            Have you figured out yet, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Many of us are waiting with bated breath!
            Also, how is Your Followership building up? I mean, for Your “Expert Theologians for Worshipful Methods of Identity Theft”? Where do we subscribe to Your Newsletter?

          2. See and then also slightly above it, where one can SEE that Mamma the Moosefucker is the same as Evil O0O0O0NE Junior the ID thief (as well as Expert Theologian)!

            Hypocrite much, lying, thieving Slave to the Evil One?

    1. Not shocking considering how they exited the Zimmerman call to make him sound like a crazed racist instead of just a wannabe government thug.

    2. Shocking.... Needs more model rocket engines.

      1. That could be a useful hobby you've got there...

        1. Especially if you make them at home.

          But I was referring to "Dateline NBC"'s travails with getting gasoline tanks on trucks to catch fire on camera, like they were supposed to.

          1. Ah.
            Could also be useful...

  20. "How Press Freedom—and Section 230—Led to Derek Chauvin's Conviction

    Don't forget good old political threats and jury intimidation too, Nick. It was a real team effort.

    1. What’s Newspeak for gleichshaltung? Nick’s saying it with this article whether he’s honest enough to admit it, or not.

    2. Shh. I think they're eying Maxine Walters for the LP spot in 2024.

      1. Jeff Sessions should be available by then.

  21. This would be a good article if we didn't live in a world where pretty much the entire internet wasn't owned by a small handful of billionaire tech oligarchs who are all progressives and in the tank for one party, who routinely abuse their section 230 protections to censor political speech of conservatives, and who use their positions to stifle competition and eliminate alternative outlets for non-progressive speech.

    If you need examples of this, you can look at the Parler debacle, in which conservatives took the progs up on their invtiation to start their own platform, and it was promptly shut down by the oligarchs who own the means of distribution for the platform.

    It's not free speech if the town square is essentially the private property of a few people who get to decide who gets to speak, and what they can say.

    1. Corporations acting in cartels hand in hand with the government or one political party to stifle free speech is just as bad and really worse than the government doing it alone. At least the government doing it doesn't give it the imputer of legitimacy that comes with private action.

  22. " . . . but he stresses that the real difference-maker is citizens' ability to distribute what they capture over platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube."

    As long as they are not named Donald Trump.
    Or conservatives.
    Or ones who try to publish scientific facts about the Communist Chinese Virus.

    Praising an electronic lynch mob is not the way to persuade me a given policy is a good one.

  23. Section 230 has nothing to do with anything surrounding this issue.

    Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly.

    We don't have to imagine that world. We have that world now. Because of the cover section 230 provides the tech companies, they can and do make media outlets unable and afraid to post video of all manner of things-- things that are 100% factual, but conveniently the tech companies can claim "violate their policies".

    We've seen this again and again-- where a media outlet reports on perfectly reasonable and factual stories and the tech companies ban the story-- or the entire media outlet from their "platform" because one of their premie "fact-checkers" determined the story violated their Kafka-esque "community guidelines".

    We don't have to "imagine" anything, all we need to do is open up our browsers.

    Facebook is blocking searches for “Kyle Rittenhouse,” the gunman allegedly responsible for the killing of two protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday night. The behavior was first reported by Rolling Stone, but The Verge was able to confirm the block through direct testing. A search for the name returns no results, while a more general search returns a number of results with the shooter’s name included.

    After Rittenhouse was identified and charged on Wednesday, Facebook removed his profile and blocked users from creating new profiles under the name, out of concern that copycat profiles might be used to spread disinformation. But blocking searches for the name is a more drastic measure, particularly at a time when interest in the details of the attack are at their peak. The platform does not appear to be blocking any content from being posted or shared, but it is apparently limiting its accessibility through search.

    1. Not to mention that many of us can actually remember when the internet before section 230 and, I dunno about you, but I remember it as more free.

      The idea of shutting down a bbs, let alone a significant majority of them, booting them off their servers and debanking them was laughable, until Joe Lieberman did it to Wikileaks.

  24. When Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of killing George Floyd, it was a victory not just for justice...

    Was it? In pure justice the guilty would be punished and the innocent never in jeopardy.

    We don't have that, we have a practical system of justice. I don't consider myself that well informed on the incident so I am not sure if Chauvin is morally guilty of any crime. I am quite sure the state failed to meet its burden of proof that he is legally guilty of the crimes he was convicted of.

    And no matter what George Floyd was a piece of shit. Yet somehow his name is now etched next to Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and Frederick Douglass.

    1. Fredrick Douglass was considered a criminal at one point when John Brown asked him to participate in the raid at HF and he did not tell the authorities..he later fled to Canada to escape possible arrest for not reporting the terror attack....tough position for him but if someone tells you they will attack and kill if necessary innocent folks (the laborers who worked at HF), do you not report them?


    If it’s actually true that Politico is telling writers not to use the word “crisis” with respect to the border, and instead pushing the word “challenge” — the same word Jen Psaki recently began using — that is very messed up. It’s state media behavior. [Link]

    1. Politico is taking it's orders on what to report and how to report it including what language to use from the White House. That isn't state media behavior. That is being a state run media. That isn't a free press.

    2. Remember when everyone rightly laughed at Fox News for switching the term to "Homicide Bomber"?

    3. Imagine a world where compliant media companies do whatever a favorable administration tells them to do. Hooray internet freedumb!

    4. who runs Politico? Same as the Atlantic, Salon, Slate, NYT, WAPO.......hate to go there but Conservative Catholics, Italians, Irish are not running show...just Bolsheviks...


    Sgt. William Kelly, the second highest-ranking official in the Norfolk Police Department’s internal affairs division, has been fired for making an anonymous donation to the defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse.

    The donation (revealed after a security breach of the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo) was accompanied by a note saying that Rittenhouse did “nothing wrong.” Despite the obvious attack on free speech and associational rights, there has been little concern raised in the media or by legal experts.

    Two days ago, a reporter in Utah went to the home of a paramedic to confront him on why he made a $10 donation of Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two people during violent protests last summer in Wisconsin.


    The largest company headquartered in Georgia, Home Depot, is being told that if it fails to publicly denounce the state’s voting law reform legislation, it will be boycotted. This isn’t coming from Black Lives Matter, per se. The corporation is being held hostage by religious leaders who demand specific talking points be delivered … or else.

    1. They should pretend they never saw the letter. They're brick and mortar, the hostage takes have no leverage.

  28. Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly.

    Well, legitimate media outlets at any rate, not the fake ones spreading Russian disinformation, misinformation, hate speech, or Big Lies. Or questioning Big Tech's decisions about just what constitutes Russian disinformation, misinformation, hate speech, and Big Lies.

    1. Hunter Biden now wants his laptop back. In October the NY Post wasn’t allowed to share the story, because Democrat media operatives be censorious motherfuckers.

      What was Hack Gillespie saying again?

  29. Press freedom allowed the news papers to dox the jurors, and section 230 allowed Commenters to make death threats to them. So yes nick you are technically correct

    1. Maximum Waters most affected.

  30. The hacks at Reason never fail to have the exact wrong take on nearly everything, including this.

    The magazine should be renamed Leftist and get it over with.

  31. Hahahahahahah wheeze hahahahhahaha cough

    Valiant media digging for the truth, protected by the Aegis named section 230! This is probably the biggest extra-chunky risible unintentional self-parody to swim down the offal pipe in some time at Reason.

    Careful, Gillespie. You could get a rotator cuff injury with that much collegial hairy-palm self-congratulations.

  32. How about we imagine a world where Judges and juries reach verdicts without the media's thumb on the scale. And since we're just imagining things, we can imagine ourselves some flying cars too.

  33. I’m not a big fan of cops, but finding somebody guilty of murder and the cause of death was not determined beyond a shadow of a doubt (the prosecution essentially admitted as much), is not a good precedent.

    1. Correct, and they're going to use the same strategy to convict Kyle Rittenhouse - even though it was the clearest case of self defense I've ever seen.

    2. The standard isn’t beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    3. Actually is was determined beyond a shadow of a doubt caused by Chauvin keeping his knee on the neck of a man who had said he couldn't breathe, then died from lack of oxygen, then Chauvin kept his knee there for some more minutes.

      Point here is, when man says "I can't breathe" and police officer then removes knee from neck, man don't die.

      What's the thing about that you don't get?

      1. "Point here is, when man says “I can’t breathe” and police officer then removes knee from neck, man don’t die.

        What’s the thing about that you don’t get?"

        Why you continue to spout complete bullshit like the above quote. Chauvin could have sat there and not touched Floyd at all, and Floyd would have still died. Floyd had lungs that were 2-3 times the weight of a normal man his size. That was because they were filled with fluid, and they were filled with fluid because Floyd was suffering a drug overdose with poly toxicity. IOW, he had enough drugs in him, that the fentanyl in his blood could stop his breathing. Whatever Chauvin did or didn't do.

        Not that the jury was caring about anything beyond keeping the Mob from ruining their lives.

  34. Imagine a world where the mainstream media selectively edits police video such as not showing a black girl holding a knife. Or chopping up a 911 call to make a self defense incident seem like a racial attack. Imagine a world...

  35. Well thankfully the video of the columbus ohio was released...funny how the "narrative" wokes will even justify kids fighting with knives as normal to ensure the narrative is never questioned. Regarding 230...if other firms did not collude to stop competition (along with the woke hedge funds and the "content managers" at FB, Twitter, Google who are far lefties NYC ivy league types) I might agree. We need any social media company to allow free speech unless it is threatening someone's life, liberty or property..period.

  36. Imagine a world in which social media companies suspend or block legitimate reporting by the likes of New York Post or James O'keefe, slapped nonsensical disclaimers on information that's demonstrably true, and then amplified views that suits that agendas.

    Also imagine a world in which social media doesn't protect your privacy by allowing hacked information to be spread like wildfire, even though their own TOS is forbids hacked materials on their platform.

    A victory for first amendment? Please tell me how that works. When private company withholds information on their whim, 1A wins?

    In what world would Twitter or FB actively censor the Chauvin video or any BLM content? They're on the SAME team. If nothing else, these sites amplify half truths and threats that would have complicated jury's decision if Chauvin was objectively not guilty.

    The biggest tech platforms will often try to block access to information. And they may try to muddle processing of information with disclaimers and semantic fact checks.

    Section 230 protects corporations, not freedom of speech. Speech is stifled when the biggest places where conversation takes place decides to manage information. Censorship is censorship, whether it's government or private company doesn't matter.

    If Twitter decided to remove all pro drug legalization content on their site, that's a win for 1A? Even though none of it violated TOS? Sure, private companies can do that, but that's not a win for 1A.

    1. "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."
      John Doe.

      1. So wise I think I've found the next King Solomon.

  37. I'm confused now.
    Who gets to tell everybody to sit down and shut up?
    Is it the government, or the media, or the tech platforms?
    Or do I get to do it?

    Or maybe it should be nobody?

  38. " Section 230 is often called the "26 words that created the internet" and "the internet's First Amendment."

    What horseshit! If anything 230 gives an oligopoly the right to annul the real first amendment. Section 230 wasn't around during the Rodney King beating yet that video got around unimpeded.
    YouFaceTwitazon are already immune from being sued for user content so why are they censoring content and banning people?

    1. Rodney King, OJ Simpson, Randy Weaver, David Koresh...

  39. Imagine a world in which media outlets were unable or afraid to post video of police and other authorities acting reprehensibly.

    Yes. A world in which jurors made their decisions based on the facts and arguments presented in the courtroom, rather than on manipulation and fantasy presented by lap dog "media outlets". The horror.

    1. So Chauvin's superiors all testifying that he broke away from police training principles was not factual? Sometimes, even when you don't want it to be, a murder is a murder. Police ain't all that.

  40. Somehow information got out without amoral billionaires in silicon valley gatekeeping it for us. Of course the mainstream media was liberal but not batshit insane like they are today. Now we have the most illiberal corporations, politicians, and leftist organizations running interface for Senile Joe and Psycho Kamala and every crazy fucking stalinist idea they can think of...all because they know they lose the House in '22.

    1. "…all because they know they lose the House in ’22."

      What will you do if that doesn't happen?

    2. What about the amoral thousandaire in Mar-a-Lago-Soon-to-be-Underwater-Because-Global-Warming? Oh, you give him a pass because he's a Joe Stalin wannabe, right? And you're a Stalinist, right?

  41. This prosecution was a farce from the beginning. I still have no idea if justice was served. Screw your cell phone freedom bullshit. They should of had it in another state and the jury should of been other law enforcement.

    1. Ask yourself this: Which of your family members would you nominate to die in the way Chauvin killed Floyd?


    A Juror in the Chauvin case told media:

    "I did not want to go through rioting & destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict."

    That’s called mob rule. It’s more likely by the day that the case is overturned. [Transcript]

    1. Is anyone really surprised?

      Moreover, why do we think that appellate judges won't also suffer the same types of fears as the jurors did here? SCOTUS punting on all of the 2020 election cases suggests they will.

  43. a world is full of ougis things

  44. Retire, Fonzie. Start that Lou Reed/Ramones cover band.
    Stop subjecting us to your horrible brand of left establsihment Proggy nonsense under the imprimatur of a obstensibly former libertarian masthead

    1. The sad thing is, look at the writing staff. Gillespie is likely among the most rationally Libertarian of them. (Excepting guests like Stossel and Rommelmann.) Maybe Robby, when he feels like being a journalist.

  45. I predict this will end up disappointing, but oh what fun it could be...

    #Antifa groups in south Florida have organized a direct action in Miami for Saturday. [Flyer]


    "I did not want to go through rioting and destruction again and I was concerned about people coming to my house if they were not happy with the verdict” - Chauvin juror makes stunning admission [link]

  47. "The pen is mightier than the sword." True dat, Lytton!

    I didn't like 230 when it got Donald Dump elected to an office far above his ability, but I liked it when it helped put the criminal Chauvinist in his proper place.

    1. It doesn't even make sense in it's own logic. BLM was popular well before George Floyd even got high. They were rioting and putting grafiti in NYC streets and the media was running cover for them. Politicians on either coast were supporting and even calling for the violence and still are. Buying the false premise that S230 is the 1A of the internet, there's no indication that any government would suppress the message. Biden endorsed the ruling. Applying S230 in the intended legal sense, the only people who could've won (and given the above, that outcome still seems slim) would be the Chauvin or the department and we routinely prevent evidence from being shown to potentia juries to ensure a fair trial.

      If the media can selectively broadcast 'evidence', dox jurors, and provide a platform for legislators to weigh in on what outcome they would desire, why bother worrying about things like jury tampering, discovery, chain of custody, separation of powers, etc.?

  48. Where was “230” when Trump was being censored banned and canceled along with everyone else who voiced their concerns about election fraud?

  49. "But you bet I'll break up Big Tech so you're not powerful enough to heckle senators with snotty tweets" - Fauxcahontas

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