Free Speech

The PRO-SPEECH Act Is Anything but First Amendment-Friendly

The law would make a federal case out of every aggrieved internet user and compel companies to host messages they do not wish to platform.


It may be dubbed the "Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard" (PRO-SPEECH) Act, but a new bill from Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is anything but First Amendment-friendly. Wicker's measure would ban huge swaths of online content moderation, forcing private internet forums to host speech that may currently violate their terms of service and be considered hateful, harassing, vulgar, or otherwise undesired.

The bill would also take aim at freedom of association and free markets, disallowing some tech services—such as app stores and cloud computing companies—from choosing what products they offer or what businesses they'll contract with.

Introduced Thursday, the so-called PRO-SPEECH Act strikes at the heart of First Amendment protections, compelling companies under threat of sanction from the government to platform messages they otherwise wouldn't.

Essentially, Wicker's bill is "net neutrality" legislation—something that was vehemently opposed by Republicans of yore—but for online content platforms, search engines, and marketplaces rather than internet service providers. The bill would make it illegal for digital entities to block or impede access to "any lawful content, application, service, or device" that doesn't interfere with platform functionality or "pose a data privacy or data security risk to the user."

The bill would also explicitly ban taking action against a user based on "political affiliation." Tech companies could no longer choose to ban, for instance, Nazi content or decline to host web forums devoted to white supremacist political groups. Web forums couldn't choose to be exclusively for conservative users, or progressive users, or so on.

"Approximately zero people actually want" the Internet this bill would create, Daphne Keller of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center commented on Twitter.

Notably, the bill would exempt from some provisions any company that "publicly proclaims to be a publisher."

It has been a common conservative delusion that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act already turns on some sort of vital legal distinction between "publishers" on one hand and "platforms" on the other, with platforms having a responsibility to remain neutral conduits for content and only publishers allowed to set any rules for what types of content they will carry. This is not actually the way that Section 230 works.

But "Senator Wicker is trying to make the ridiculous and nonsensical 'publisher/platform' distinction an actual thing, despite the fact that this is blatantly unconstitutional," writes Mike Masnick at Techdirt. "The end result is that this bill leans into the moderator's dilemma and creates two types of internet sites: complete garbage dumps…where no moderation can take place, and Hollywood-backed squeaky clean productions. It wipes out the parts of the internet that most people actually like: the lightly moderated/curated user-generated aspects of social media that enable lots of people to have a voice and to connect with others, without being driven away by spammers, assholes, and abusers."

In addition, the bill also redefines anti-competitive behavior—the backbone of antitrust law violations—to include any large company blocking, prohibiting, or discriminating against any platform that competes with any part of its own business. No matter how many of a company's rules the quasi-competitor violated, it would have to be allowed.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would have broad discretion to enforce the law, making it ripe for politics-based abuse. Small internet businesses would be exempt…except for when the FTC decides they are not.

Violations would be considered unfair and deceptive practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Anyone could register a complaint with the FTC alleging a violation, creating a massive new undertaking for the commission as internet moderation police and a massive new layer of bureaucracy for tech companies, which would be required to respond to every complaint.

In essence, the law would quite literally make a federal case out of every aggrieved YouTuber who gets demonetized, business that thinks its search results aren't high enough, troll who feels he deserves a right to say whatever he wants online, etc. If tech companies don't issue a reparation to the complainant, the FTC would be forced to open an investigation within five months.

NEXT: Apple Surrendered Former White House Counsel Don McGahn’s Account Information to Trump DOJ

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    3. Well yeah Cox was liable for what the users did, because they let non progressives use their service, and they didn't aid in getting Obama and Biden elected like Google and facebook did

  1. > Essentially, Wicker's bill is "net neutrality" legislation

    Where is Trump appointee Ajit Pai when you need him? The bright spot in the entire adminstration.

    > something that was vehemently opposed by Republicans of yore

    Republicans of yore were all RINOs!!! Don't listen to them. All we need to know is if the bill was introduced by a Trump fearing Republican. It's not about conservatism vs liberalism, it's about Team Colors. And the Team Color for right thinking Trump fearing Republicans is... TRUMP!

    1. As usual taking it extremes instead of paying attention.

      1. The Southern Baptist Church convention was this weekend, in Nashville. Among their concerns was what to do about all the RINOs and NeverTrumpers in their midst. Even hints at a formal split with the AME.

        So yeah, the politics is the religion for the Religious Right. As should have been evident from the name, "Religious Right".

        p.s. Was actually present when the Moral Majority started. Just a wee tike but I remember bits of it. It was explicitly political, partisan political. They didn't come out and say Democrats would go to hell, but they made it quite clear that Jesus was on the side of Republicans. This was while Christian evangelical Jimmy Carter was in office. Terrible politics, that Jimmy, but to suggest he wasn't Christian is to have one's head up their ass.

        p.p.s. When the Bible says that idols in the temple were an abomination, it did not say to hang portraits of presidents in their place.

        1. I guess we're ignoring the political attacks by progressives on fundamental principles of the Southern Baptist convention. It's the RIGHT!

          You must work for Reason.

          1. I'm pretty sure that the Southern Baptists evicting RINOs is made up. Brandyfuck's doing what's popularly called "lying".

            1. Maybe. The Southern Baptists have had a flood of liberals attempting to take over and push prog polices in the last couple years.

            2. There's a faction within the convention talking about doing essentially that, in so many words. I don't know what's come of it.


              1. That's a far cry from Brandyfuck's dishonest assertion about expelling RINOs and NeverTrumpers.

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        2. "Among their concerns was what to do about all the RINOs and NeverTrumpers in their midst. Even hints at a formal split with the AME"
          Really? That smells like total bullshit. Do you have a non-antireligous citation outlining it on their agenda?
          Also, wasn't Jimmy Carter an Evangelical Southern Baptist way back when?

          "So yeah, the politics is the religion for the Religious Right"
          Wow, even then that's a humongous, ridiculous leap.

          I've noticed you've become the new Buttplug for pushing The Party's narrative here over the last week or so. Congratulations on your promotion.

        3. I think one of the most entertaining things about modern political discourse is the righteous takedown of the other political team for playing tribal politics all while engaging in the same level of tribal politics in order to be so righteous.

          I really wish self-awareness, self-respect, and intellectual honesty could find a way back into our modern discourse.

          1. It's not 3nough to be non tribal, we must be actively anti tribal.

            Am I virtue signaling properly?

            1. I have no idea as I don't understand you comment.

              1. Jo Jorgensen made the same comment about racism.

            2. "Am I virtue signaling properly?"

              Nadless Nardless the Nasty NAZI, besides your fellow NAZIs, the ONLY one who you are "virtue signalling" to, is the Evil One itself! With your repeated calls for people to commit suicide, for example, Evil One Junior! What do you think that you are earning for yourself, with your Evil-One-Dick-Sucking words and rituals?!?!

              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! "Your life has no value", you have often posted. 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,

        4. No one believes any of your crap

          1. diWhite Knightoxide, your tinfoil hat is off kilter, when you speak of "everyone" or "no one". This kind of thing is often present in florid (full-out) mania... Magical mind-reading of everyone! Lithium (and other meds) can help, with these kinds of conditions, you know...

            For the record, I, for one, subscribe to many-many of the ideas written by BrandyBuck...

            For MORE insight into WHY you oppose REAL libertarians, supposing you're not too close-minded and arrogant to do this... I know that's a stretch... Read this:

    2. The new GOD (Grand Old Dickstatorshit) has replaced the old GOP! Thanks Trump!

      Respect for private property (web sites especially) has been replaced by Government Almighty control of the means of production (Rethugglican Marxism).

      In honor of the NEW Marxism... I hear that the new MAGA flag will be stark Vanta-black background (see ) with neon orange hammer and sickle, except the hammer is replace by a BOLD Gothic "T" for Der TTTrumpfenfuhrer!

      1. Rush Limbaugh used to talk about symbols and substance. The new GOP is now about the symbols. Ideas are substance so they jettisoned all the ideas. It's now about the symbols and symbolism, and thus they are in parity with the Democrats.

        So they won't call themselves Marxist, or Authoritarian, but will gladly back Marxist and Authoritarian ideas so long as they have the right symbols in front of them. They want to control the the information. They want to control which business get to operate, which get subsidies, which get to build massive new plants in Wisconsin and which do not. Gotta jack up the spending just make it a few dollars less than the Democrats, for symbol reasons. And of course, like any good Marxist, gotta nationalize social media companies by declaring them common carriers. Then like any good Authoritarian, forbid them from criticizing Republican politicians.

        Shutting down Alex Jones is bad. Not shutting down Ibram Kendi is bad. It's all bad if it doesn't have a symbolic MAGA hat.

        1. Agreed!

          The GOP Now Stands for Nothing
          A party that doesn’t believe in anything ends up believing only in its right to rule.

          SQRLSy back now... OK then, GOP now any more stands for some blend of it's "right to rule", and Marxism, and that's about it!

          1. The two major parties have always been coalition parties. A coalition of disparate and even warring factions. In the GOP that means some faction was always trying to take over. In the early naughts that was the religious right. They failed. Then it was the RonPaulistas (of which I was one). We failed, but we did make some small inroads and helped spark the Tea Parties. This was all internal politics that no one outside of the dues paying party was even aware of.

            The last takeover attempt was the anti-immigration populists. They succeeded with an uneasy alliance with the populist Trumpistas. And so the party is currently lacking it's intellectual base, the strong defense base, and the fiscal conservative base. The cultural conservative base is still sort of there, but their acceptance of a womanizing pussy grabber of low morals is slowly turning them into know nothing tribals.

            The ideas of the party are not pretty much limited to what Trump wants. That's what I mean by tribal. If you're into tribal flag waving, that's good, if you're into the ideas of governance, it's bad.

            Not the Neo-Cons getting kicked to the curb is a good thing in my book. But the libertarians and fiscal conservatives got kicked to the same curb. It's Trump's way or you're RINO.

            p.s. Democrats also have the same problem as the woke progressives have taken over and kicked all the other factions (unions, neoliberal, etc.) to their curb. The White Affluent College Kids with heads full of mush are in control, and they are religious in their determination to tell minority identities what to think. Which is why Democrats lost the unions and are hemorrhaging minorities.

            1. Well done, well said! What is a principled, small-government person to do, besides vote libertarian (if bother to vote at all), in the face of all THAT?!!?

        2. Concern troll seems very concerned.

          1. Oh, he's super-concerned all right... and look at Sqrlsy quote The Atlantic. That DNC house organ has never had anything but positive things to say about the Republicans.


        3. Absolutely no one has tried to shut down Ibrahim Kendhi, lying Sack of shit

  2. That we have seriously had people suggest that a classical liberal Orthodox Jew is a gateway to Nazism, and saying that people born with testes are men and people born with ovaries are women is "hate speech", the social Left's moral panics about such things are difficult to take seriously as is their attempt to police what is acceptable political and social commentary.

  3. All the Government-Almighty-forced speech control, brought to you by Rethugglicans, merely because JesseBahnFuhrer's and MammaryBahnFuhrer's "punishment boners" have been constricted by Section 230, and Section 230's prohibitions against punishing "Party A" for the writings of "Party B". Thank YOU, JesseBahnFuhrer and MammaryBahnFuhrer, may I have another?!?

    (On second thought, MammaryBahnFuhrer, please keep yourself AND your punishment-boner-driven speech-control fascism in Innermost Islamic Canuckistanistanistanistanistan! And JesseBahnFuhrer, LEARN some NON-Marxist-style respect for property rights, PLEASE!)

    1. Sqrlsy loves the fact that the Democrats can evade the First Amendment and control speech by ordering captive corporations to do so instead.

      When the Democratic party had Twitter and Facebook censor newspapers like the New York Post, Sqrlsy thought that was aces.

      "Rampant corporatism, just like back in the good old days of 30's Germany, made all this censorship possible", thought an appreciative Sqrlsy.

      1. Hey whining crybaby… I pay (PAY! With MY money! I OWN!) for my own web site at Go-Daddy. I say some VERY sarcastic and un-politically-correct, intolerant things about cults like Scientology there (and Government Almighty as well). I am QUITE sure that a LOT of “tolerant” liberal-type folks at Google etc. would NOT be happy with the types of things I wrote! Yet, if you do a search-string “Scienfoology”, Google will take you STRAIGHT to MY web site, top hit! #1!

        Your whining and crying is (just about ) UTTERLY without basis!

        WHERE is your respect for property rights?! I learned to respect the property rights of others, before I was in the 1st grade! Didn’t your Momma raise you right?

        1. As a minarchist, I’m of course very pro-property rights/freedom.

          However, once a private entity formally unites with the government (e.g. receives subsidies), it should no longer be treated as a private entity.

          Twitter, FB, etc. are essentially state media. I fully support them getting reamed.

        2. WHERE is your respect for property rights you dishonest fuck?!

          Private companies being forced to do the bidding of elected officials or risk hostile legislation is the opposite of what your lying ass is claiming.

          1. Private companies being forced to do the bidding of elected officials or risk hostile legislation

            Isn't that what the Republicans are proposing?

            1. There's a world of difference between giving direct orders to companies to censor news under the threat of demonopolizing, and crafting anti-censorship regulations.
              So no.

            2. No. most of them are just for repealing favored liability protections.

              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!

          2. Private companies being forced to do the bidding of elected officials or risk hostile legislation is the opposite of what your lying ass is claiming.

            Finally my three year drumbeat about Democrats and their First Amendment violations by threatening hundreds of billions in losses if the tech giants don't censor harrassment-hey-start-with-the-harrassing-tweets-of-our-opponents is gaining steam!

            Me as Akbar, esp. @40s.

  4. ENB has this fantasy about the internet and social media that isn't true based on simple observation. These are multinational companies not under any real US jurisdiction. Regulation might work but honestly ending their ability to function in the US would be preferable. They are pure social corrosion.

  5. "The bill would also take aim at freedom of association"

    Freedom of association disappeared long ago, since it is not enumerated; most notably in the various civil rights acts mandating forced integration in place of mandated forced segregation.

    Racism is racism, period, whether integration or segregation.

    1. Not enumerated, but it is there. Just not in name. Go read over your Constitution again.

      Does not negate the fact that both integration and segregation are anti-Constitutional. Private individual can choose to associate or not, but the government cannot compel or forbid it.

      1. My copy says Congress cannot compel or forbid it. Courts are free to issue restraining orders, cease and desist orders, remunerate for fraud, jail and imprison, etc. relatively freely.

      2. Go read it for me, I am that stupid. I don't see it.

        But then, the enumerated right to keep and bear arms has less provenance than the unenumerated right to an abortion, so anything goes.

        1. I like that last part in particular.

        2. Brandyfuck has a special copy of the constitution that says all the stuff that agrees with him, that the first one forgot.

  6. The law would make a federal case out of every aggrieved internet user

    It's almost like there are four boxes; soap box, jury box, ballot box, cartridge box and something has removed the first two boxes.

    Fuck you Reason and your Section 230 advocacy, pay my taxes.


      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!


        Who decides what constitutes good faith moderation of free speech?

        1. In a non-Marxist FREE nation, the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

          Who moderates free speech in church, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc.? Do the windbags get to storm in and and take over the church podium willy-nilly? Should Government Almighty be overseeing "speech moderation" there, and in your home, and in your schools? HOW MUCH power do you want to assign to the Collective Hive? Don't we have more than plenty enough of Government Almighty already?

          1. In a non-Marxist FREE nation, the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

            OK, so if there's a problem with the speech (fraud, libel/slander, theft, incitement, etc.) the website owns the speech. Glad you cleared that up.

            1. Still getting off on whacking your "punishment boner" at the thought of punishing "Party A" for the writings of "Party B"?

              I’ve seen many-many conservaturd posters here lusting after punishing Facebook (for example) for Facebook having “published” a defamatory post (written by a user, not Facebook, of course). Classic “Punish Party A for the Deeds of Party B, and call it justice”.

              Conservaturds lost in the recent POTUS elections, so let’s go take it out on Facebook! Look up “displaced aggression” and “scapegoating”.
              My boyfriend treats me badly, but I can’t bitch-slap him, ’cause his dick is bigger than mine, he might beat me up some more, so I’ll go beat the dog or the little kid(s) some more!

              Most of us can see that this is a power-pig, punk thing to do, in domestic relations. Why can’t more of us see that it is ALWAYS wrong to “Punish Party A for the Deeds of Party B”? Any answers from ye power-pig punks?

              1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

                "Website owners = property owners" - SQRLSY One

                1. “Website owners = Government Almighty” – Mad Marxist Mad.Casual

                  1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

                    “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

              2. It's a simple evolution of responsibility. When newspapers chose what to publish, they were responsible for libel, defamation, etc; they were publishers.

                When people put notices on a community bulletin board, they are the publishers, they are responsible for libel, defamation, etc. The bulletin board owner is not responsible. But if they leave everything up, they end up with massage parlor ads, nasty screeds, etc, and drive away the comunity, so they cull the trash. This was not considered publishing, even though they did control what was posted, and usually did remove competitors' ads, ads they didn't like for personal reasons, etc. The line between platform and publisher was a mile wide, but no one much cared because the audience was so small.

                Along came the internet. Section 230 sought to restore that tiny audience aspect of the blurred line twixt publisher and platform, which makes no sense when the internet is global and not the local grocery store. The idea that you can remain a platform when you do in fact control what goes up far beyond libel, defamation, and court-found illegality suddenly is shown up for the farce it always was but never mattered with small audiences.

                The social media platforms could have headed this off, if they had kept their mitts to themselves and only censored truly illegal, libelous, or defamatory material. They didn't. They acted like that grocer with his bulletin board, removing ads for competitors, removing ads for businesses they didn't like, and generally throwing their weight around.

                Their proper response should have been to allow user moderation and curation, but when some people created apps to do just that, they were shut down, by lawsuits, by technical tricks, by any means possible.

                And THAT is why Section 230 is no longer the panacea it once was.

                1. "Their proper response should have been to allow user moderation and curation, but when some people created apps to do just that, they were shut down, by lawsuits, by technical tricks, by any means possible."

                  You can do that (internet free speech) all you want if you PAY FOR IT! Costs are reasonable. See Godaddy... or FREE blogging provided by MANY sites!

                  1. No. I am saying that the publisher / platform distinction was ignored for grocery store community bulletin boards because the audience was too small to care and the pockets to pick were too small to get any lawyer interested.

                    Expand that community bulletin board to billions of people, and expand the pockets to billions in revenue, and suddenly Section 230 made sense, in the political crony manner. If the social media platforms had kept their publisher's censoring so minimal that only pimps and raving lunatics were offended, Section 230 would have been ignored. But the social media censors went hog wild, long past the point of becoming a true publisher, and they made the hypocrisy and crony protectionism of Section 230 too obvious to ignore, so it is no longer viable. It's going to change, one way or another, and I suspect those social media platforms will become common carriers whether they like it or not, and the only censoring they will get away with will be court-ordered on their part, and user moderation otherwise.

                    1. Despite the "MY side is RIGHT" attitudes and some below-the-belt snark, this debate thread is actually pretty solid. I come into this fairly neutral on the matter, and see good points from both sides here.

                    2. Why does the increase in scale from bulletin board to social media site matter? Take Twitter, for example: it's a place where people can post 280-character remarks. The majority of Americans are not users of Twitter. Why in the world is the privilege of being on Twitter considered any more important than being on some dial-up bulletin board? What's the sane argument that anyone _needs_ to be on Twitter?

                    3. It’s nice when Dee confirms that she only read part of someone’s comment.

                    4. "Why does the increase in scale from bulletin board to social media site matter?"

                      It doesn't matter much...

                      Associated comment here for those smart and honest enough to parse it: Heavy law crack-downs on internet libel, defamation, etc., will ONLY snag the BIG guys with deep pockets! The little guys are fly-by-night, have no deep pockets, so GOOD LUCK with that! And they have shady connections with those who will ask you for money to "protect" you from defamation! It is a racket! And Government Almighty is ONLY going to protect you from the BIG guys, AFTER you pay the lawyers! Beware the scams!

                      There may be better links out there about this. Here is the best I can find right now:

                      The ‘protection’ racket is back, but this time on the Internet

            2. So, end 230

        2. Who decides what constitutes good faith moderation of free speech?

          The property owner does.

          1. Unless you're a baker...

    2. The legislative intent of Section 230 was to enable mild moderation without taking responsibility for the intent that they allowed to remain. It was not to allow them to moderate against viewpoints without taking liability for the content remaining. The extensive bad faith moderation has largely been the cause of the GOP turning on them.

      1. "...without taking liability for the content remaining."

        Weasel words masking, punish Party A for the writings of Party B!

        Sooo… Your “fix” to all of this is to punish “publishers” (web sites) for the content generated by OTHER people? Those who post?

        SOME people here 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 authoritarians that SOME people got punished for the writings of OTHER people), then the proper fix MUST be 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”!

        NY Times can be punished for what someone ELSE wrote in a letter-to-the-editor in their hardcopy rag! An injustice, to be “fixed” by punishing Facebook for the same kind of offenses!
        In 1850, I imagine that perhaps some people in the USA were saying it isn’t fair that white folks hold black folks as slaves. Let’s “fix” it by having a bunch of black folks hold white slaves, too!
        What kind of EVIL person fixes injustice by widening the spread of more injustice of the same kind? HOW does this “fix” ANYTHING?!?!

        1. All they have to do is moderate with a light touch and in good faith.

          1. If there is a HUGE unmet need right now for those who "moderate with a light touch and in good faith", the free market can take care of it, if Government Almighty and Nosenheimer and Buttinsky and other busy-bodies will just sit back, relax, and let it happen. We all need to relax, and let go of our punishment boners. Justice happens! We aren't often called upon, individually, to act as Dispensers of Cosmic Justice. If we try to do that by using Government Almighty, it usually backfires. And specifically here we rapidly run into the below problem...

            The Association of Catholic Nuns Who Garden-Tend, if it sets up a chat group for discussing their hobby, should be forced to accept pro-abortion, anti-Catholic-nuns rants, on their internet forum? What happened to private property rights, and the right to freely associate, or not associate?

            Most of all, HOW does one write clear, non-arbitrary, rule-of-law-type rules of what "good faith" means?

            Some lawyers and politicians seem to think that phrases like “good faith” and “reasonable” are like magic. They are too vague to be useful or practical, and the courts often say as much! If they were as magical as people seem to think that they are, we need just ONE law: “Everyone must make reasonable, good-faith efforts to love one another, the Planet Earth, the trees and the bunny rabbits, etc., and the human future.” All human-caused trouble-making is now outlawed! One law, and we now have all the laws that will be needed!

            As James Bovard has documented long ago, such “reasonable efforts” laws (for handicapped employment) that have been willy-nilly, grandiosely written by Congress-Critters, and thrown out to courts and regulators to define and enforce, have not worked well. What did we get? Enforcement must be OBJECTIVE, of course! All safety handrails must now be 39 inches, and not 38.5 or 39.5 inches… Feeding frenzy for lawyers finding violations, and immense compliance costs!

            1. Nice idea to sit back, relax, and let the free markettake care of it.

              Section 230 is government intervention, in response to court intervention which made the distinction between publishers and platforms. Common carrier is a government-made distinction.

              Hell, libel and slander are government interventions. Defamation, maybe not, but if the true remedy for hateful speech is counter speech, that should apply there too.

              The days of free market free speech are long gone. This legislation is yet another attempt by government to look like they are fixing a problem they created. Discussion of free markets is pretty off-point by now.

              1. "Hell, libel and slander are government interventions."

                Agreed, and I'd like to see THAT whittled way back as well! If I spread lies ("poisoned food") about your grocery store, and your business goes way down as a clear result, I think you should have recourse to the courts. Else, what? For justice? Trial by combat? Reluctantly, I'd say, yes, let's let courts handle that.

                Lies about me and my character? People can figure out for themselves, who is lying, and who is not! LESS Government Almighty PLEASE!!!

                But good luck reforming all of that!

                In the meantime, we have to pick our fights. Section 230 is in FAVOR is LESS Government Almighty! I am 99.999% sure that ANYTHING that replaces Section 230 (a rare treasure of small government) will make things WORSE!!!

                1. "Section 230 is in FAVOR is LESS Government Almighty!"

                  No it isn't. It's government intrusion into civil matters, and the Good Samaritan is government mandated censorship.

                  Tell me Sqrlsy, can you name ONE time in human history when the group fighting to ban books and censor speech were the good guys?
                  I’ll wait...

                  1. Squirrel, repeatedly, seems unable to accept the fact that section 230 came from the government, and anyone who points this out has a punishment boner.

                    1. The Bill of Rights came from Government Almighty! Shall we negate it then?

                      HELLO?!?!? Is Government Almighty, once in a blue moon, ALLOWED (by ye fascists) to LIMIT itself? Will that be OK by ye power-pig punks?

                    2. The Bull of Rights limits the government from infringing on our inherent rights, it doesn’t grant them. Something real libertarians understand.

                  2. Bill of Rights.

                    1. Section 230 limits the government from infringing on our inherent rights, it doesn’t grant them. Like, duh, Section 230 limits the Government Almighty in that it PROHIBITS Government Almighty (and its courts) from punishing me (as a web site owner) for something that SOMEONE ELSE wrote, HELLO?!?!?! Something real libertarians understand.

                      Only fascists get off on punishing one person or entity for what another person or entity does. Now PLEASE refrain from going off and beating your dog, just 'cause you lost the argument! Eat some "smart pills" from under the rabbit hutch instead... Nothing else seems to be working for ya...

                    2. Section 230 limits the government from infringing on our inherent rights

                      No it doesn't. Section 230 actually removes the individual's right to seek redress against tech companies in a court of law. In that way, it very much restricts individual freedom - it does not enhance it.

                      Sort of like that amendment giving the right to the individual to confront their accuser. If somehow that was removed, it would reduce court cases, but would not be "pro-freedom" no matter how much you may squawk about it.

                2. Section 230 is in FAVOR is LESS Government Almighty!

                  No, it isn't. It's the Reason Mark Zuckerberg is putting on anti-collusion theater in front of Congress instead of his lawyers trying to figure out which uppity court circuit judges who have the silly notions that people have a right to petition, property owners are responsible for their property, and 'website owners = property owners', they need to avoid.

          2. Ok and perhaps what you intended. Define “light touch” and “good faith”.

            SQRLSY is spot on this thread.

            1. Keep sucking that iNazi cock, Goebbels

        2. Weasel words masking, punish Party A for the writings of Party B!

          "I've been told that SQRLSY One likes to rape little children and jerk off while burning their bodies. Now, if that's not true, SQRLSY One should sue whoever it is who told me that, since I'm just publishing the guy's comments."

          1. That's fine by me! People are smart enough to figure out who is lying, and who is not lying. Government Almighty just make things worse... FAR worse usually... Because you have to badger 51% of the voters to see it your way, in a democracy, at least! Before anything gets done, and that is only IF the "Deep State's" (bureaucratic & special interests) vested interests will allow it to happen!

            And Trumpistas want to make it yet far worse! See below... Far more so FACTS and not much editorial by the way...

            Trump’s Big Lie and Hitler’s: Is this how America’s slide into totalitarianism begins?

            1. Salon Magazine has supported:
              - critical race theory
              - corporatism
              - abortion/eugenics/euthanasia
              - gun control
              - speech and religious censorship
              - bookburning
              - hates Israel

              The actual Nazi Party supported:
              - scientific racism
              - corporatism
              - abortion/eugenics/euthanasia (Aktion T4)
              - gun control
              - speech and religious censorship
              - bookburning
              - hated Jews

              Pretty gutsy of you and your source to be calling anyone else "fascist", Sqrlsy.

              1. Now refute the FACTS in the cited article? You can NOT, because they are FACTS! Gravity is an example of a "FACT"... It doesn't matter WHAT other things were said by WHAT party, or WHAT things party XYZ said OR DID... Gravity remains a FACT! All your slithering around does NOT change the FACTS, MammaryBahnFuhrer!

                If your worst political enemy in the world said that gravity is a FACT, would you jump out the window on the 20th floor to dispute your enemy's oh-so-biased so-called "facts"?

                1. There were no "facts" in your article. The whole thing was one giant, poorly-written lie to fool credulous idiots like you.

                  If you weren't thoroughly incapable of critical thinking, you would've realized that by the second paragraph.

                  1. Either you've not read it, or you're 3,000% full-blown, florid-manic delusional.

          2. I find that statement to be quite plausible.

      2. "It was not to allow them to moderate against viewpoints without taking liability for the content remaining."

        If that was the intent, they did a bad job of authoring the actual wording of the law. Because Section 230 says nothing about there being some threshold of moderation amount, which cannot be exceeded.

        1. Yea, because "good faith" inherently means whatever the totalitarian left says.
          To me, "good faith" you face a reckoning.

          1. "Good faith" is in the eye of the beholder.

            Look at it this way Nardz, if you ever were to own your own internet platform, Section 230 permits you to kick off all of the progressive trash that you want. That is what it means.

        2. If that was the intent, they did a bad job of authoring the actual wording of the law.

          Moreover it was not the intent. Compuserve didn't moderate and wasn't found liable for the speech it didn't moderate. Cox and Wyden (who authored section 230) felt that was wrongly decided. They want(ed) to force Compuserve to moderate. They felt Prodigy was rightly decided and that Prodigy should've been immune because it did moderate. The goal was never to allow moderation one way or the other.

          And, evidence would suggest that they don't really care about the harm or good S230 was doing, as long as their legacy of having penned 'The internet's first amendment' stays intact.

  7. Wicker's measure would ... [force] private internet forums to host speech that may ... be considered hateful, harassing, vulgar, or otherwise undesired.

    "And then those forums can be banned for hosting hate speech! BWAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

  8. Bake that transgender Nazi aborted fetus gender reveal party cake!

    1. I don't want nazi fetuses anywhere near my cake.

    2. Yes, agreed, bake that cake!

      Now the only remaining important question is, WHOSE Government Almighty will PUNISH-PUNISH-PUNISH the BAD bakers who refuse to bake the cake?

      If it is MY party's Government Almighty which forces the cake-baking and the punishing, I can feel free to whack my punishment boner at will, in good conscience, 'cause I KNOW that MY party's intentions are GOOD!

      If the Government-Almighty-forced cake-baking is done by the WRONG political party (as all right-thinking folks know, THEIR motives are BAD), then we must HIDE in the deepest, most secret holes, when we whack our punishment boners! BAD party's motives are BAD, you bad little boys and girls! Now STOP that!

      1. When libertarians start making impassioned and consistent defenses of the liberties of freedoms they don't agree with instead of making it a party plank to bake the nazi cake, then maybe I'll be concerned about the authors' pet freedoms. (Or that of their donors, as it were.)

        Or we can go on with six more months of handwringing about conservative, far right white supremacists terrorizing cocktail party-goers in their gated communities.

  9. While I wish politicians would just keep their hands off, it's hard to not grin at the social media companies hoisted by their own petard. They proclaim their innocence, deny any partisanship in how they moderate, lie lie lie, and .... this would force them to choose one lie over the other.

    As short-sighted as politicians are, these social media companies are pushing them hard for the winner's dinner. If they had been truly neutral, not censored anything legal, and left moderation to users, they wouldn't look like the hypocrites they are. I remember some company in Utah which remastered DVDs to leave out the raunchy bits; and Hollywood, instead of seeing a business opportunity, took them to court for copyright violations. Eh, might have the details wrong; but it sure was a dumb move. A smart move would have been to partner with the company and others, releasing special versions at extra cost, both pleasing the public and making more money.

    1. It's true. Disney and Warner weren't about to have their material censored by prudes. Vidangel is the company.

  10. Here is all you need to know about how far Reason has skipped blithely down the Authoritarian path--

    It may be dubbed the "Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard" (PRO-SPEECH) Act, but a new bill from Massachusetts Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is anything but First Amendment-friendly. Wicker's measure would ban huge swaths of online content moderation, forcing private internet forums to host speech that may currently violate their terms of service and be considered hateful, harassing, vulgar, or otherwise undesired.

    Wicker bill would force all those who accepted the privileges of being a platform BACK into being platforms instead of censorspublishers.

    It would put some teeth into protecting our culture of free speech.

    And Reason wants it dead.

    1. From their own cite:

      The PRO-SPEECH Act would:

      - Preserve consumers’ ability to access lawful content, applications, services, or devices that do not interfere with an internet platform’s functionality or pose a data privacy or data security risk to a user;
      - Prohibit internet platforms from taking any actions against users based on racial, sexual, religious, partisan, or ethnic grounds;
      - Prohibit large internet platforms from blocking or discriminating against competing internet platforms by declaring such actions presumptively anti-competitive;
      - Require an internet platform to disclose to the public accurate information regarding the platform management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of service of any app store, cloud computing service, operating system, search engine, or social media network it owns; and
      - Authorize the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the Act under Section 5 of the FTC Act notwithstanding any other provision of law.

      Reason's ENB-signature bullshit of a hot take can't even be bothered to explain what the sanctions actually are, let alone explain why they would (e.g.) support/oppose anti-trust or EEO litigation against a business that refused to hire black people but not do the same for republican-leaning black/white/brown people.

    2. Marxist doublespeak. Those "platforms" you speak up are human being entitled with the rights of free speech and freedom of association. They are not obligated to publish your tripe. They may do so if they wish, but that does not suddenly make them a common carrier subject to removal of basic human rights. In fact, "common carrier" is not in the Constitution at all. It's something Democrats made up so they could mandate then regulate monopolies like telephone and power companies.

      1. "... It’s something Democrats made up so they could mandate then regulate ..."

        You mean like the Civil Rights Act and everything built up around it since then? Like baking the cake?

        You sure are an expert on Marxist double speak.

        1. It's next-level anti-libertarian doublspeak:
          "A corporation builds a car to that violates the EPA. The car is making a statement about the justness of the Clean Air Act and should not be silenced!" - Brandybuck

          The property owns itself and people are wrong if they think otherwise.

          1. "I get off on punishing one party for the doings of another. That's why I beat the dog whenever my boss yells at me." - Mad Marxist Mad.Casual

            1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

              “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

              1. He's so retarded that he doesn't actually understand the point you're making. Just that you have the temerity to disagree with him.

      2. So, presumably you support platforms being able to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin or sexual orientation? Would those also be considered rights of free speech and freedom of association?

        Sorry, but if weren't prepared to go to the mat to defend the right of companies to choose their customers in those situations, your protest of rights of free speech and freedom of association sound pretty hollow now.

        1. What is wrong with you? Both you and Brandybuck.

          You've desperately seized onto the 'corporations are people' thing and think it makes your point here.

          It doesn't

          The corporation enjoys rights, but the products it's selling --in this case the youtube or facebook, or twitter planforms or the various search engines DON'T.

          Products don't GET rights. They get to live up to the specs guaranteed at time of purchase.

          You can't sell someone a car and then, years later, tell them that they're not allowed to drive it over bridges. And come and try to repossess it if they do.

          Making businesses honor the contracts THEY agreed to at time of purchase is perfectly valid.

          And, Nemo, I DO support the right of ANY person to do business with ANYONE they choose or don't choose to do business with. Up front. You don't get to change the terms at your whim.

    3. Why should "culture of free speech" trump private property rights?

      If you are on my property, I reserve the right to tell you and your 'free speech' to kindly get off my lawn. Why shouldn't it be for others?

      1. You don’t get to sell them a ticket to go on your lawn, then kick them out because you don’t like them, then be protected from them suing you for breaching the contract.

        1. Or in the case of big tech, you can’t kick them off because the Mayor of your town doesn’t like them.

          1. This is hyperventilating conspiracy-fueled nonsense.

            1. shorter chemjeff: I have nothing to refute your points, so I'll make up something bad about you and harp on that whether true or not is meaningless.

        2. You didn't answer the question.

      2. Why should “culture of free speech” trump private property rights?

        It doesn't.

        If you are on my property, I reserve the right to tell you and your ‘free speech’ to kindly get off my lawn.


        Fortunately, none of that is happening.

        Instead, what's happened is that you're telling me I can't use the phone I purchased from you because I called someone or said something that you and your supporters don't like.

        It's like selling someone a diary and demanding that they only use it to record the thoughts of the seller, instead of the purchaser.

        Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google etc. all sold products to people that people could express THEIR thoughts on., to THEIR followers.

        Now they want to change that without the customer's consent.


        But I'll get off your lawn, because it's yours. And you keep your hands off my pages because they're mine.

        And everyone's happy.

  11. Mississippi, not Massachusetts.

  12. ridiculous and nonsensical 'publisher/platform' distinction an actual thing is an actual thing, YOU FUCKING MORON.

    It's embarrassing that Reason is republishing this trash as a perspective that should be given credence.

  13. Look, this is dead simple. Big Tech brought this on themselves by indulging their politics in 1.1-sided "moderation" all but openly attempting to influence elections in the US and possibly other countries. They sowed the wind, and bills like this are the whirlwind.

    I don't disagree with all the criticisms of the bill, but I'm not going to forget about the actions that created the demand for it.

    1. I would prefer a much better solution which is restore the 10th amendment constitutional limits of federal power. If that was restored, all the lobsided, misinformation and opposing-viewpoint-censoring google, facebook and twitter can muster wouldn't matter because any federal involvement in healthcare, employee/employer relations, housing, education, transportation, energy, etc... would be illegal as would every measure taken in the last 18 months in response to covid. But since that won't happen, I agree, big tech brought this onto themselves. I'm not gonna shed a tear for them having absurd arbitrary draconian rules to control them like the ones their chosen political party advocate for and already exist for bogging down every other industry.

    2. Let's say it is true that Facebook or Twitter or whatever social media site tried to openly influence elections and did one-sided moderation. So what? They are private companies. The First Amendment says they do not have to be fair; the First Amendment says they can try to influence the election if they so desire.

      1. They’re not private companies anymore. They’re publicly owned, with major investment by municipal pension funds. They benefit from crony capitalism rules and tax avoidance strategies in laws they helped support that are anti-competitive. They contract with government and help government communicate messages.

  14. Every day telegraph operators, railroads, airlines, telephone companies, mail carriers, and more are forced to host messages they do not wish to platform. And if they don’t, aggrieved customers can bring a federal case.

    The author has completely failed to explain why all past federal common carrier rules have somehow resulted in a massive violation of the First Amendment, even though everything she says about them is true - they infringe on private property every bit as much as racial discrimination rules. And they require private companies to platform messages they don’t agree with.

    What possible CONSTITUTIONAL difference could it make for Congress to simply update long-standing common carrier rules to be current with new technologies? People today no longer send telegrams, letters, phone calls, they instead post messages on Facebook and Twitter. Why shouldn’t long-standing standard communications law prociples be updated to reflect the current communications technology used for what are functionally the same kinds of communications? The fact that people today can conveniently communicate with multiple people at once imstead of one no more changes the fact that major social platforms function in society as commumications channels, than the fact that an airplane doesn’t have to stick to a fixed road make it something fundamentally legally different from a railroad so far as transportation law is concerned.

    1. The author’s claims too much. If there is no difference between a platform and a publisher, there isn’t any difference between a caller and a phone company or a letter-writer and a mail carrier either, and the First Amendment ought to protect both from having to carry letters and phone calls they don’t agree with.

      If the author is willing to take that position, fine, I suspect most of us would disagree, but at least she’s being consistent. But I suspect the author is unwilling to take that position.

      1. "If there is no difference between a platform and a publisher, there isn’t any difference between a caller and a phone company or a letter-writer and a mail carrier either..."

        In your analogy, conservaturds with YUUUUGE punishment boners want to punish Facebook for YOUR posts to Facebook, that are supposedly "libel" etc. ... Shall we punish the letter-carrier for MY libel in MY letter? We'd have to snoop on the letter in the first place, by the way! We could CLARIFY matters by allowing PRIVATE letter carriers to use my mailbox, also, you know! Get Government Almighty OUT of the picture facilitates REAL freedom, often! No Government Almighty involvement? No 1st Amendment concerns!

        But NOOOOO... Many power-hungry conservaturds want to GROW Government Almighty, for their "fix"! Their "fix" is that they need a "fix" for their addiction to power and punishment boners!

        1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

          “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

          1. “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

            But ONLY website owners.

            Not florists or bakers, or wedding venue owners, or restauranteurs or hoteliers or butchers, bakers or candlestick makers.

            They all have to accommodate EVERYONE.

            But website owners are not just free to censormoderate, but provide an irreplaceable threataid to the cause of free speech by doing so.


    Court Documents Show U.S. Government Directed Big Tech to Censor Public
    by Publisher | May 25, 2021 | News, Politics, Social Issues, US
    Nobody can deny that there has been a massive amount of censorship taking place in the social media arena but what some have only suspected to be true is that the government is behind it. That is, until now. The Montana Daily Gazette, one of our sister publications, first reported that Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai publicized court documents that prove the U.S. Government entered into a formal agreement with Big Tech to censor speech they did not agree with.

    1. Headshot. It all violates the first. Fine them out of existence and give the money to the people.

    2. Five hours later, and no response to this? Very telling.

      1. Did you read the actual article?
        Did you read the court documents?
        What do you think it really demonstrates (hint: not what the clickbaity headline claims)?

  16. "Approximately zero people actually want" the Internet this bill would create, Daphne Keller of the Stanford Cyber Policy Center commented on Twitter.

    then I suspect we've got little to worry about.

  17. It wipes out the parts of the internet that most people actually like: the lightly moderated/curated user-generated aspects of social media that enable lots of people to have a voice and to connect with others, without being driven away by spammers, assholes, and abusers."

    Look, I'm not uhh, I'm not in agreement with this bill or its goals, but what internet are you on?

    1. It's no internet I've seen recently.

  18. I also find it interesting that very few people seem to be animated over the fact that we now have prima facie evidence that Mark Zuckerberg was collaborating with high-ranking federal officials to censor content-- content that may have turned out to be life saving.

    1. That is the rub, when a private company acts upon edicts from segments of the government they are a defacto government agency. Team D shouldn't be able to outsource the suppression of 1A rights to pivate companies.

      1. That is the rub, when a private company acts upon edicts from segments of the government they are a defacto government agency.

        When a private company reaches out to the government and asks them straight out, "how can we censor for you", they're something worse than a government agency.

      2. Team D shouldn’t be able to outsource the suppression of 1A rights to private companies.

        It should be illegal, and certainly is immoral. How the chimps voters deal with what Team D has pulled will determine if our experiment in self government will continue. Or if the US is OK with single party control at the national level.

      3. The law should be directed at government being punishable for such collaboration.

        Issue is we can’t even apply current law to the rulers.

    2. Like the Senate hearings where Zuck sat there and said "I agree we need more stringent regulation." followed by Facebook commercials across all kinds of platforms and media saying "It's time for new internet regulations." wasn't prima facia evidence of collaboration.

    3. Five hours later and no response to this one either.

      It’s almost like the “mUh PrIVaTe cOrPoRAtiOnS” crowd on this topic are being disingenuous by ignoring any evidence that doesn’t fit the narrative.

  19. The law would make a federal case out of every aggrieved internet user and compel companies to host messages they do not wish to platform.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made a federal case out of every aggrieved minority and compelled companies to do business with people they prefer not to.

    One of these is exactly like the other.

    1. I bet Reason is on the verge of coming out against the civil rights act.

      1. It would be entertaining to see what Reason has to say about the 1964 Act, Affirmative Action and related subjects.

        1. We know what they would say. It's all about what their lefty friends signal them to say.

      2. King's message is dead. Shame.

  20. "In essence, the law would quite literally make a federal case out of every aggrieved YouTuber who gets demonetized, business that thinks its search results aren't high enough, troll who feels he deserves a right to say whatever he wants online, etc. If tech companies don't issue a reparation to the complainant, the FTC would be forced to open an investigation within five months."

    None of this will matter once the consent decrees from the antitrust cases come through, but for advocacy purposes, in the meantime, you really do need to read the room.

    Conservative thinking on this--and I'm talking about the general public--is driven by hatred of social media platforms and the news media generally. Your criticism of this bill is a list of reasons why conservatives should support it--if they hate social media platforms and the news media generally.

    IF you want to communicate effectively with the conservatives who hate these social media platforms, you need to offer them explanations about what should be done to protect their rights from the Democratic party, which controls both the federal government and the outcome of the antitrust actions that are pending against social media companies--which is one of the forces driving social media companies to treat conservatives like shit.

    I have no doubt that the "solutions" ENB is criticizing will make things even worse for conservatives online, but if you don't have any solutions that will make things better for conservatives online, then it may be reasonable for conservatives to settle for making life miserable for social media companies generally.

    Here's a legitimately libertarian solution for conservatives: we need to put intense public pressure on vulnerable Democrats to reject any legislation that would support the antitrust case against Big Tech by requiring them to take action against "conspiracy theories" and "misinformation". And yes, that is a reasonably practical solution: The reason conservatives still have the filibuster and H.R. 1 still hasn't been passed is because certain Democrats are feeling the pressure in the Senate.

    Light the pressure under the Democrats on the issue of "misinformation" and you may have a legitimately libertarian way to help conservatives defend their rights from Democrats who are coming after their rights by of Big Tech through antitrust. There are two issues that expose the folly of regulating "misinformation", too--with the covid-19 origin story and Hunter Biden's emails both being excellent examples to rally conservatives and swing voters.

    Bringing up those kinds of arguments might not get you invited to many cocktail parties, but that might be the cost of credibility and real influence these days.

    1. Agreed and well written, Ken!

      Another "real libertarian solution" would be to expand REAL free speech, and EXPAND rather than CONTRACT the simple, intuitive notions of REAL justice! It is WRONG to punish "Party A" for the doings of "Party B"! Always!

      We need legal reform to clarify that simple above notion. If the NY Times can be sued for libel or defamation for what a letter-to-the-editor wrote... Or what an editorialist wrote, despite the NY Times boilerplate disclaimer "this does not reflect the opinion of this news rag"... If the damned greedy lawyers (seeking "deep pockets") can sue their way through that, this is a PROBLEM that needs FIXED!

      We have "blame Party A for the doings of Party B" in WAAAAY too many places already! The real libertarian freedom-loving position is to reduce it EVERYWHERE, and not just port the old injustices right on over to the internet domain!

      Libertarians should be principled, not revenge-seeking! Else "karma" means we get bit on the arse! What's good for the goose, is good for the gander!

      1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

        “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

    2. This is well said. We've definitely lost something when we think that the beef with Social media companies is it's only a "Republican grievance" without exploring the larger question of just how objectively awful social media companies have become.

      Example, this full video from Brett Weinstein talking to Dr. Pierre Kory (M.D.) discussing COVID treatments that were nearly uniformly suppressed in the media. These are not "republican gadflies" making snippy comments about Kamala Harris.

      1. I mean to say, this full video was censored by Youtube, so only brief clips exist. This is one of those clips.

      2. Yes, this is an example of why they shouldn't suppress "misinformation". Much of the "misinformation" has turned out to be far more accurate than the predominant media/government narrative, and Democrats, specifically, are using "misinformation" as an excuse to force social media companies to suppress conservative speech by of antitrust actions and government coercion.

        That being said, we aren't winning any friends to the cause of free speech online by condemning conservatives for fighting back and lashing out against the social media companies that are shitting on them. I can think of all sorts of ways to see conservative voices protected online that are legitimately libertarian and legitimately capitalist. There are both legitimate libertarian arguments to make for protecting conservative speech online and libertarian means of doing so.

        If we confine ourselves to chastising conservatives for fighting back against the progressives who are targeting their free speech rights, and using the coercive power of government to do so, we only serve to persuade conservatives further that we're using free speech as another excuse to censor and deplatform them. If we stayed up all night trying to think of a better way to rally conservatives against free speech, we could hardly come up anything better than that.

    3. None of this will matter once the consent decrees from the antitrust cases come through, but for advocacy purposes, in the meantime, you really do need to read the room.

      I remain unconvinced consent decrees will come about. Consent decrees are for uppity businesses like tobacco growers and gun manufacturers who have the audacity to think they can sell a product in spite of government pressure. Maybe you're right and it would get to the point of consent decrees but, thus far, back room phone calls have been more than sufficient.

      Soap box, jury box, ballot box, ammo box. Don't want people, left or right, resorting to the latter? Restore access to the former.

      1. There will be consent decrees at the end of the antitrust process or both the Justice Department and the FTC will fail to persuade a federal judge that any actions against Facebook and Google are necessary. I consider that latter outcome highly unlikely. There are still open questions about what will be in those consent decrees.

        Once those consent decrees are in place, and that will happen sooner rather than later because the social media companies actually want to get rid of conservative speech to satisfy their advertisers, there will be a component that needs to be voted through Congress and signed by the president. It will almost certainly happen under the guise of Section 230.

        They'll need one Republican to vote against that Section 230 repeal bill, and the chances of finding more than one Republican to do that are high, but it won't just be about Section 230. It'll have language in it that Facebook and Google agreed to about enforcing policies on "misinformation" and "hate speech" in exchange for Section 230 like immunity in the consent decree.

        That outcome not only serves the interests of the social media companies, the advertisers, the Democrats, and Biden but also represents the path of least resistance. The only way to stop it may be to turn this into an issue like H.R. 1 or the filibuster in the Senate, where you can't find that one Republican to vote for it, and you can't find a Democrat who will vote for it either.

        And this isn't something that will be easily repealed later.

        The other ways of stopping it is that both federal judges in the antitrust cases are against what's happening, and they decide to drag it out in various ways until the Republicans retake the House and/or the Senate in November of 2022, but that's a long shot. Find me a federal judge who isn't eager to make case history. It's like an ace pitcher who doesn't want to play in the final game of the World Series.

  21. >>explicitly ban taking action against a user based on "political affiliation."

    if air quotes required, not a thing to base a banning on.

  22. I came here a half hour ago to say that Wicker is certainly not from Massachusetts, I believe he's from Mississippi. (Checks public-private partnership behemoth search site: yes, Mississippi is correct.) I intended to check the comments to make sure no one else offered the correction, but then I was led down the rabbit hole. Hope this is still helpful info to the publisher of lies. 🙂

  23. If you want the legal immunity of a platform, be a platform.

    If you want to curate content, be a publisher.

    Pick one.

    1. If you want to love animals, pamper your pets. If you love to eat meat, eat meat. Pick one, ONLY one!

      You either love animals, or you eat meat… You can NOT do both! All pet owners who eat meat? Their pets will be slaughtered and their pet-meat distributed to the poor! Because I and 51% of the voters said so! And because we are power pigs, and LOOOOOVE to punish people!

      1. the property owners (the web site owners) should decide!

        “Website owners = property owners” – SQRLSY One

  24. The OP wrote: "The law would make a federal case out of every aggrieved internet user and compel companies to host messages they do not wish to platform."

    Good, that will stop the supposedly "good samaritan" screening that the plainly leftist "platforms" engage in regularly.

    The OP continued: "It has been a common conservative delusion that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act already turns on some sort of vital legal distinction between "publishers" on one hand and "platforms" on the other, with platforms having a responsibility to remain neutral conduits for content and only publishers allowed to set any rules for what types of content they will carry. This is not actually the way that Section 230 works."

    Perhaps Brown really does imagine there is no distinction in law between platforms and publishers. And perhaps Brown also thinks that sec203 was meant to protect publishers and to allow them to make good samaritan screenings without risking be viewed as publishers -that is delusional!

    1. Sec 230 is not the foundation of our democracy, it was not crafted after a series of debates between Jefferson amd Madison, it is not the 230th Amendment to the Constitution, it is not a SCOTUS Superprecedent!

      Who TF cares what 230 was meant to do? It doesnt matter. Stop obsessing about it. It needs to be fixed. No one here cares or should care what the Endangered Species Act or Clean Air Act or Clean Water act was MEANT to do once they start being used to trample our rights.

      Bad Faith Libertarianism on its face. STFU about your Sec 230 Worship.

      1. ^. It’s like Lying Jeffy using some random guys version of what CRT should be, while ignoring what it actually is in practice in schools.

        1. When are you going to apologize for your lies?

        2. Let's apply the same logic to Qualified Immunity. QI wasn't meant to allow police to brutalize and steal with no repercussions, it was meant to ensure that trolls and bad actors don't grind local government to a halt over petty grievances.
          Therefore, we can't touch QI and you shouldn't criticize it, Liz

    2. ENB can't seem to wrap her head around the liability issues that existed before 230, and thus the reason 230 was adopted. It was explicitly adopted to allow sites to filter content while ensuring they weren't liable for that content. It was "For the Children" legislation intended to allow for filtering of porn, curse words, and other evils of the early internet.

      It was never intended to be a point of view filter. Since it's evolved into that, it has outlived its utility. But ENB can't seem to accept that.

      1. Correct, and it certainly was not intended to create uber publishers who are immune to lawsuits for libel.

      2. Every time someone makes an argument about the intent of Section 230 it is a tacit admission that the actual text of the law does not make any distinction between platform and publisher, nor set some amount of moderation that cannot be exceeded, nor require fairness.

        1. "the actual text of the law does not make any distinction between platform and publisher"

          Well, I suppose if you've never read it, you might think that.

        2. The text of the law does make a distinction between platform and publisher though. It doesn't define each with its text, but it removes liability from platforms, while publishers have no such liability.

          So in that way - it does make a distinction - one can be sued for what it publishes the other cannot.

  25. So, 5 Oligarchs who are content providers collaborate to shut down and shut out certain problematic content creators based on their political affiliations and how they impaxt their content, based not on any laws being broken, but with implied government pressure.

    It was 70 years ago, and no one then or since was trumpeting the Hollywood Blacklist as a triumph of the 1st Amendment. That is how far this shitbox Reason has fallen.

    1. ENB and the BTeam - " Muh Private Companeez! Build your own studios! And movie theaters! And manufacture your own cameras, film, and editing equipment....and dont worry about the popcorn and soda companies refusing to sell to you under boycott pressure.....

      1. And independent film, art, and music is not a thing?

        You can make a lot just playing video games online.

        1. Holy fbck you couldnt be more dense

          1. You can just write fuck. Right here on the interwebs.

            Fuck is one of those versatile words. You can put it into any sentence

            What fuckin time is it?

            1. Time for you to fucking expire.

    2. I know you believe Twitter is banning Donald Trump because Democrats in DC are directing them to do so in some way.

      But, let's just pretend for a moment that this was not the case. Suppose for a moment that Twitter, and Facebook, and Google, and Amazon, etc., all decided to ban Donald Trump for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with government pressure.

      Even if you disagreed with that decision, would you acknowledge that those companies had the right to do so?

      Would you demand government action to force Facebook et al. to allow Donald Trump on their property?

      1. Nobody said anything about Trump, you fatuous fvckstick

      2. "all decided to ban Donald Trump for reasons that had absolutely nothing to do with government pressure."

        Yeah, let's pretend. While we're at it, I'm the Queen of England.

  26. The path forward I see is to treat this as a fraud problem. If Twitter advertises its site as a platform for free political speech, and delivers a site that covertly censors particlar political speech that they or their benefactors don’t like, even while profiting from ads it shows its users, then Twitter is effectively engaged in fraud, and if this does not meet current legal definitions of fraud, then those definitions need to be adapted to meet this new gaming of the system and protect consumers.

    Twitter is self-interested and wants to maximize its revenue. Twitter’s users are self-interested and prefer not to pay money for something they could get - seemingly - for free. Politicians are self-interested and seek to do something about the problems their constituents face. No one involved is particularly evil or of malicious intent, but we can all see a problem in this situation, even as we struggle to point the blame or decide upon any solution. As libertarians, the problem of government regulation of speech is paramount to us, but even we can see the need for government action in the case of fraud.

    If a site like Twitter wants to moderate its content in the way Twitter has, it MUST NEVER falsely advertise itself as a free speech platform, or any such demonstrably false promise. It should quickly and loudly retract any such claim accidentally purveyed. By profiting from user data, ad viewing, or other interactions it becomes socially liable not to do a bait and switch. The viewing of advertisements and selling of personal information, while not a direct monetary transaction, involves implicit or explicit social contracts between consumers and content hosts, and could plausibly involve civil litigation as a means for recourse in the future.

    1. Says who?

      1. Anyone who wants to.

        1. For now.

    2. According to Twitter's Help Center page, "defending and respectin the user's voice" is one of their core values. You may laugh incredulously at that.

    3. Then problem solved. Even their Help Center page about their support for freedom of expression makes it clear they do moderation, so there has been no false advertising.

      1. Saying the truth in one venue does not undo a lie in another. It’s like publishing a story in your magazine claiming that that Hershey’s chocolate contains 1% lead, and then saying in your private facebook that oh it’s really 0.0001%, it doesn’t “undo” the falsehood, especially in the much quieter venue.

        Speaking in moral terms rather than legal because I lack expertise in the latter.

  27. I guess Liz must be against amending or repealing FOSTA, too, because FOSTA isnt about abridging the 1st Amendment or hassling independent sex workers and making them less safe or jailing the Backpage guys for cooperating in trafficking cases, it doesnt say any of that. It says it wants to end Sex Trafficking.
    Nowhere does FOSTA say it wants to trample our rights or get women robbed and killed. That should be enough for Liz.

  28. "An attack on Section 230 is an attack on America itself" - Anthony Fauci


    They're still trying to defend 2+2 not equaling 4. Academics are garbage.


    I can’t believe this was actually praised by adults. Look at the sickos recording this. Look at the women encouraging this. But I guess twerking is a part of “Black culture” right? I strongly believe we have regressed in the cognitive ability to rationalize. Where is her dad? [Video]

  31. Sharon Stone from Basic Instinct.

    There's no smoking in this building, Miss Tramell.

    What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?


    Is YouTube going to ban all discussions about treatments certain doctors disagree with? [Link]

  33. “Wicker's measure would ban huge swaths of online content moderation, forcing private internet forums to host speech that may currently violate their terms of service and be considered hateful, harassing, vulgar, or otherwise undesired.”

    Yeah actual, uncensored free speech. That’s a good thing.

    Why does the author think free speech requires empowering platforms to censor speech?

    1. "Why does the author think free speech requires empowering platforms to censor speech?"

      Free speech can (and should) include the right to control one's own property. Can I force myself into your bedroom and scream and yell at you all night, to the point that you can't sleep? If you oppose this idea, bootlicker of NAZI lies and holocaust denial, then YOU ARE CENSORING ME!!!

      1. Free speech is an inalienable right which means that it can never be given or taken away, anywhere.

        To deny this is to deny the constitution.

        1. “Twitter shall make no rule respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof on their private platform; or abridging the freedom of speech on their private platform, or of the press to publish on their private platform; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble on Twitter’s private platform, and to petition Twitter for a redress of grievances.”

      2. You are free to deny anyone entry to your private shithole, but if you do allow them in they cannot help but bring all their inalienable rights with them.

        1. Have you ever been a guest at a public court, religious building, or even a sports stadium? Do you just march right up and take over the playing field or the microphone? Do you think that you SHOULD be able to do that? If so, you are an asshole! (But we already know that you ARE an asshole, holocaust denier!)

          WHY should a web site owner be treated differently than any of the above owners? Other than you being an asshole (profusely profane source of waste and stinky shit), I mean?

          1. If someone makes money giving people microphones, aka the internet, they must respect the inalienable right of free speech.

        2. but if you dont like how they exercise those rights you can kick them out. Or do you want a dinner guest who cusses you out to invoke the First Amendment as you envision it and have the government force you to put up with it no matter what they call you?

          1. If you invited someone to dinner then reneged because the exercised civil free speech, you could be sued for violating a verbal contract and their constitutional rights.

          2. The nature of rights is that they protect liberty by restricting it.

            You can’t have your cake and eat it too.


    Biden’s Covid czar, @ASlavitt, says the pandemic wouldn’t have been as bad if Americans “had sacrificed a little bit” more.

    Avoiding social interaction "requires a certain amount of sacrifice and change."

    “We denied the virus for too long under the Trump White House. There was too much squashing of dissent and playing on divisions. I also think we need to look at one another and ask ourselves what do we need to do better next time …"
    Cont’d: "In many respects, being able to sacrifice a little bit for one another to get through this and to save more lives is going to be essential. That’s something that I think we could all have done better on."

    1. The denying was all done by Democrats in Feb-March, befoe theybwent to the opposite extreme

  35. This is a tweet PROMOTED by Twitter:

    Qanon, the far-right conspiratorial network, emerged in 2017 and is built upon antisemitism.

    Its supporters pose a serious threat to Jews and our democracy.

    We cannot allow this hate to grow.

    Follow AJC and stand with us against hate.

  36. Everyone who wants to get away with corruption hates free speech. The issue is good versus evil. Truth, reality versus lies.

    For many centuries secret societies, like the free masons have operated secretly in plain sight. Today their membership includes most if not everyone on the words stage, politicians, industry leaders, entertainers and the Pope.

    They only achieve world stage status by invitation from other members and they in turn only advance the careers of members.

    Free masonry is a satanic religion that is taking over the world to create a new world order based on satanism without interference from Christianity.

    Altiyan Childs is an Australian entertainer and a free mason who has had a change of heart and decided to show the world the truth.

    His 5 hour video lays out irrefutable evidence of the extent and intent of the purpose of the secret religion, based on promise of fortune to those who take the required criminal oaths.

    By watching it you will recognize that you fall into one of two groups, supporters of a new world satanic order and those who oppose and expose it.

    “The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Noahide Laws in legislation that was passed by both houses. Congress and the President of the U. S., George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization. They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in educating the Citizens of the U.S. of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day.”

    Laying the groundwork for mass executions planned by the satanic free masons in the new world order.

    Here is the accepted justice of the satanic noahide laws signed into law by every president since GB.

    “Unlike the Torah teaching found in Deuteronomy 17:6, that requires the testimony of two or three witnesses before one can be executed, according to the Noahide Law it only takes one witness! Whoever is to be found breaking one of these laws, is subject to capital punishment by decapitation “

    In the link above you can see a photo of George Bush signing the Noahide laws surrounded by Jewish Freemasons.

    1. Fuck off, scumbag Nazi.

  37. Being a Holocaust denier wasnt enough, you are a certifiable crazy person

    1. You are a humiliated liar who can’t refute what you deny.

      1. No one should waste time refuting the assumptions of a scum-bag Nazi.

        1. Stick with what you do well.

  38. The latest from ELIZABETH NOLAN BROWN with "Formidably Reasonable" website, reasons why Social media platforms need to retain the ability of filtering content, practicing publishing discretion regardless if the content is illegal or not, and yet still enjoy the benefits of being a platform.

    Liz, why stop with social media sites when we should be pushing this same philosophy out to utilities and telecoms. As you've argued for social media its only fair and reasonable that telecoms as well as cell couriers be allowed to censor what their customers say to each other. After all its the free market right? Well it is true that not anyone can just start up a telecom and use the existing infrastructure and it is true that these social media platforms entire business is built on the back of a publicly funded project called the internet but still we have to think of the companies first. We have to make sure they all have complete discretion of who can say or do what so that no one gets this idea of trying to take a stance or promote some idea that's not been approved by the corporate world. Lets hear it for the voice of [formerly] Reason.

  39. Wait till next year when the left tries to introduce licensing, registration, and fees plus a three day waiting period to exercise your First Amendment rights. You know, in the name of equity—or something.

  40. "It may be dubbed the "Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard" (PRO-SPEECH) Act,..."

    Reason enough to take it out behind the barn and kill it.

  41. More people communicate via tests and apps than by telephones. In the days of Ma Bell, we would not have fathomed allowing ATT to cancel your telephone service because they did not like what you were saying, yet today we allow Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter to do just that. These companies have become de facto utilities. They need to be treated as such. If they want Section 230 protections, they should not be allowed to censor people they happen to disagree with politically.

    1. Bingo...time to send in the troops, shut down their server farms and put real liberty loving Americans in charge....

    2. Call in the military; AT&T wireless dropped a call!! Naw; you can keep your authoritarian Gov-Guns mentality to yourself - I'll just switch to Verizon.

      You have no point because Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter NONE have complete control of the 'connection'. Call me when they monopolize the public's 'connection' instead of just 'monopolizing' their own property/site.

  42. You know the bias of the writer when they warn of "nazi content and white supremacist content" yet don't talk about bolshevik, socialist, or CRT which is just marxism in another guise...I guess that is ok?

    The problem ENB and Reason seems to have it not understanding how we have already crossed this bridge with the CRA of 1964, specifically the parts which told folks they had to engage in economic transactions where one party didn't want to. Sure it was for "race, creed, or color" as they used to say but political opinion bias isn't that far removed from being added. These companies offer folks to post their opinions and are essentially electronic bulletin boards..the host can't pick and choose which customers to allow if you view the CRA as broad as some judges will (and they will). And I'm not sure why Reason is so upset with forcing Big Tech for obeying the Bill of Rights..if your not threatening someone with violence they should be able to post what they want..if you don't like it block them. It isn't that hard. The issue is these companies have taken a political position and assume they are soverign states...they are not. Their content managers are pretty much the same bolsevik NYC ivy league types who have pushed so much of this left wing cultural crap for decades in the mainstream media...they hate real Americans. And they built their platform on easy money from the Fed via NYC hedge funds..something their competitors can't do...another reason to end the Fed. For any Reason writer to support Google or FB or Twitter causes concern for sure...

    1. The CRA is not part of the Bill of Rights. It is merely legislation passed by Congress. As such it should be subservient to the Constitution. In particular our right to free association and our right to contract. But, in practice it gets treated more like it supersedes the Constitution in that it allows governments to heavily restrict those rights.

      So, your argument is still valid. Either ENB needs to put on her big girl pants and come out against the CRA and all it's edifice, or she needs to accept that Section 230 does not protect them from it's reach.

  43. Biden's next 'infrastructure' bill..

    Hidden funding for lefty propaganda 'bots' on all media outlets... Because the Pro-Speech Act insists all 'bots' have rights. Sounds like how Yahoo Chat rooms went down the toilet. Couldn't even hold a conversation with anyone due to 'but here', 'click here', 'link here' looping 'bots'..

    Naw; F-That... Keep the National Government AWAY from the press COMPLETELY.

  44. If Republicans want a REAL solution they'd file Constitution Violation impeachment charges on every politician who outright used their authority to 'abridging the freedom of speech'...

    Popular Vote =/= the ability to dismiss the People's Supreme Law.
    The very foundation of "democracy" that is destroying the USA.

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