CNN Shuts Down Access to Facebook Pages in Australia After Court Ruling Holding Media Outlets Liable for Commenters

This is where government demands to moderate what users say will ultimately lead.


In response to Australian court decisions holding media companies legally liable for the comments by users, CNN has blocked access to some of its Facebook pages from users in that country.

This is an inevitable outcome of a bad decision and a reminder of why it's important not to try to force government-mandated moderation policies onto massive social media platforms that will inevitably lead to either censorship or lack of access to information.

Earlier in September, Australia's High Court (the country's top court) ruled that a television station could be found legally liable for comments posted on Facebook about Dylan Voller, footage of whom was part of media coverage of problems in Australia's youth jail system. Voller claimed the comments were defamatory and sued not the commenters but the media outlets, arguing that they were the publishers of such comments.

Media outlets fought back, pointing out that they were not the publishers of outside comments that came to them on Facebook and had limited ability to moderate or control them.

But the court disagreed, with the justices concluding that by creating a Facebook page in the first place, media outlets were inviting people to comment on the stories and therefore were publishers responsible for the content of the comments.

The Wall Street Journal now reports that CNN has decided the risk is just not worth it and will cut access to some of their pages. According to the Wall Street Journal's report, representatives from CNN asked Facebook to implement the ability for outlets to disable all comments for their Australian pages in order to reduce the liability exposure. Facebook apparently declined to do so, leaving them only with the option to moderate individual comments:

Ultimately, CNN concluded that managing comments on posts from each of its accounts was too time-consuming and instead opted to restrict access to its pages in the country, the person said. CNN executives believe that Facebook should be responsible for helping publishers comply with laws that apply to content on its platform, the person said.

"We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive dialogue around current events among its users," a CNN spokeswoman said.

There is some traditional media vs. social media conflict going on here as well. Facebook responded by calling for reform in Australia's defamation laws, but also by assuring Australians that the platform still "provide[s] a destination for quality journalism, including through Facebook News which we launched in August."

The big losers here are citizens of Australia who want to access CNN's content via social media. The Wall Street Journal reports that CNN is the first media outlet to cut Facebook access in the country, but they're certainly not going to be the last. So if you're not a fan of CNN's media coverage—even if you absolutely loathe CNN—this is not something to celebrate. Not only does this potentially affect every single media outlet, but it could also affect anybody who draws the attention of trolls on Facebook who want to make their lives miserable by posting defamatory statements.

NEXT: Democrats Are Denying Basic Economics

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  1. So, there is no First Amendment of the Internet in Australia?

    1. Prisoners don't have rights.

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      2. He was a child. Don’t get me wrong. But prisoners should have rights. Limited but nevertheless nothing justifies the treatment the Youth services subjected the kid too.

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    2. The US is the only nation has the freedom of speech and of press as a part of its core constitutional restrictions. We sort of imagine all other countries have it, but they don't.

      Which is why I'm so pissed that both the Left and the Right in the country want to get rid of it and government moderated speech, lest someone say something that Warren/Hawley might find something they don't like. The reason both sides want to get rid of Section 230 is because they WANT to regulate online speech.

      1. They only want to regulate bad speech by their political opponents. That's different.

        1. Misinformation, they only want to remove misinformation.

          1. Miss Information is still playing hackey Psaki with the truth, try another line later.

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        2. Like the efforts of your democrat friends here.

      2. Ending section 230 does not make the companies liable for user speech. This is as stupid an argument as those who were pushing for Net Neutrality. It just allows consumers a day in court, it does not change the liability for the company. If you read the article you would understand it took an Australian court to deem liability against the companies.

        This is the same mistake Ken made in the morning thread.

        1. It allows users to harass the companies with hundreds of nuisance lawsuits. I pray Jesse that you realize just how much power you are working to give to the Liberals before it is too late.

          1. You are imagining something that didn't happen prior to the introduction of 230. You're asking for government protections against things that have yet to happen. That is the worst way to govern.

            Also, why is it specific to this industry. Why does this protection not extend to a coffee house with an open mic night if you are so concerned? We still have Anti-SLAPP laws that exist to shoot these down.

            I mean c'mon, this is already happening against NRO and Mark Steyn. Why do you want to protect one industry and not others? If this is truly your concern, extend it to all industry and not just favored ones. It is a silly argument you're making.

            The left has a whole cadre of lawyers that harass companies through lawsuits. From green action groups, to suing share holders, et al. You have not shown any concern against these types of lawsuits. Why only silicon valley?

            The solution is not favorable carve outs but to make a loser pays lawsuit system for nuisance lawsuits.

            Meanwhile you defend 230 being extended to cover contractual issues (Meagan Murphy) even though it was never intended to extend that far. There are better solutions than keeping a bad law in place to your imagined concerns of future actions.

            1. It did happen prior to 230. It has happened since then, Jesse.

              There is a good paper summarizing all of this:

              For crying out loud, one of the things people on your side of the debate often bring up is the number of times a judge throws out cases based on 230. Those cases would all have to be litigated, on a constitutional basis. Every single one of them.

              I am begging you man, stop giving the Progs the rope to hang us with. It took them less than 8 years to weaponize the Patriot Act against Republicans. Don't give them this too.

              "You have not shown any concern against these types of lawsuits. Why only silicon valley?"

              Any time it has come up, I have spoken out against, for example, the bullshit lawsuits that delay development of buildings here in California. I am very consistent. When was the last time you were arguing that those lawyers should be allowed their day in court? Or is it that we talk about 230 a lot on this site, leading that to be the issue we share views the most about?

              1. It took them less than 8 years to weaponize the Patriot Act against Republicans. Don’t give them this too.

                First, weaponized?

                Second, are you asserting that the courts or section 230 has not yet been weaponized?

                1. Yep, section 230 is totes keeping the fascist left totalitarianism at bay.
                  Imagine how bad things would be without it!

                  1. Just get rid of the leftists. That’s the only real solution.

                    1. I am hoping this vaccine delivers like previous trials. It's about all the hope I have left.

              2. I'm not given progs any ropes. They are working hand in hand with the companies already. They have the rope and the companies willingly put it around their neck. I'm anti-censorship completely.

                Likewise you skipped right past the whole fact that if your concerns are real, extend it to all industry. You keep saying this is only a problem online which is far from reality. Either make it uniform or get rid of it.

                The paper you just linked discusses the other measures I brought up in my original post.

                To me liability occurs when actions are voluntarily taken. When you have judges in SV extending 230 to protect companies from obvious contract violations, 230 is an issue. There are other ways to deal with nuisance lawsuits, which your link brings up.

                What your link ignores is the fact that Demonitization is happening despite promises and contracts given to content creators based on political speech that was not present when those channels started, in the case of YouTube. No other industry is allowed to arbitrarily change terms like SV is and be protected by judges misusing 230.

                You are throwing away and ignoring all sorts of issues with 230 on the belief that there is no other way to handle nuisance suits.

                Likewise your link also ignores the collusive behaviors of these companies such as when they all coordinated to boot of Alex Jones. That should not be protected by 230, yet it is.

                You're supporting collusive censorship here Overt. You have to realize this.

                1. Watch GOP voter numbers crumble when 67 year olds can't give each other fear-jobs (fj's) on facebook anymore.

                  1. I know, right? It wasn't until S230 and FB came around that 60+ yr. olds even gained the right to speak to one another about the corrosion of culture. With their radio fireside chats, it's inconceivable how they communicated about fear itself to one another.

                  2. Watch DoL claim any criticism of anything he says as blood libel.

                    1. Especially if it concerns his beloved democrats. He really hates freedom.

                  3. Hi Stolen Valor, how's the internet's greatest Special Navy Forces Seal Beret today?
                    Did any more hot stewardesses ask you to save their flight from terrorists, using your ultra-muscular 6'5" bod, again?

              3. JesseAZ, Overt is correct here...its strange we have to have a law in the first place to block this madness, but removing it gives the heckler's veto to the illiberals of our time..

                1. Just get rid of the leftists. It’s like we’re all catching fire and debating how to minimize being burnt. When the correct discussion is to figure out how to remove the source of the problem.

          2. Right now the situation in the US is worse than the Australian law, IMHO. But really only the Good Samaritan portion needs to be turfed.

            People act like 230 is inviolable, an all or nothing proposal. But really all that needs to happen is to remove the part where corporations still get to play editor, even while they're enjoying a regulatory grant of special protections. The rest can stay.

            1. But really only the Good Samaritan portion needs to be turfed.

              So "Protection For 'Good Samaritan' Blocking and Screening of Offensive Material"?

              Libertarians-for-the-blocking-and-screening-of-offensive-material for the motherfucking win!

              1. The Good Samaritan clause. Smartass.

          3. It allows users to harass the companies with hundreds of nuisance lawsuits.

            So you oppose Cubby v. Compuserve?

      3. The reason both sides want to get rid of Section 230 is because they WANT to regulate online speech.

        Speech that incurs Section 230 protection is literally and explicitly government-moderated speech.

        Godfuckingdammit the bill is titled 'protection for blocking and screening of offensive material' for fuck's sake!

      4. They shouldn’t be regulating online speech. But Facebook Et Al has the right to regulate that speech. Nor should they harass these companies.

    3. Australia doesn't even have a Bill of Rights.

    4. Have you been watching the police state in action vs the maskless there? I don't think they have any rights anymore.

    5. More importantly, there is no constitutional guarantee of free speech. At least not one that is not shot through with caveats.

    6. There's no offline first amendment in Australia.

      They stayed in the Empire/Commonwealth until those constructs were rendered moot by the British, so their system is based on the one the authors of the US Constitution fought a war to escape.

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  2. Was it CNN or NBC that worked with Google to shut down the federalist comments section?

      1. I'm never listening to the Stray Cats again.

      2. He was one of the ones who piled on. The original call came from NJ state assemblyman and drunk, Mike Moriarty.

    1. Neither. You are imagining bogeymen.

      1. The NBC story—penned by Adele-Momoko Fraser, a producer with the ironically named News Verification Unit—is a perfect example of activist journalism getting the facts wrong and obscuring the truth in order to arrive at an agenda-driven conclusion. Fraser wrote that Google had punished The Federalist "after the company was notified of research conducted by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British nonprofit that combats online hate and misinformation." Fraser further noted that "Google blocked The Federalist from its advertising platform after the NBC News Verification Unit brought the project to its attention."


        1. Oops, poor Brandybuck. The problem with Brandybuck's "imaginary bogeymen" is that their obviously pulling some real world shit.

      2. Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

    2. It was NBC.

      1. C'mon now, Brandy has never lied about things before.

        1. She's a fine girl.

          1. what a good wife he could be

            1. But his life, his love and his lady, are all Jim Beam.


  3. "But the court disagreed, with the justices concluding that by creating a Facebook page in the first place, media outlets were inviting people to comment on the stories and therefore were publishers responsible for the content of the comments."

    That's like claiming the same for written material on paper provided by business who provide blank paper.

    1. And you think the likes of Australian courts wouldn’t rule that way for paper producers? This is Australia.

    2. That’s like claiming the same for written material on paper provided by business who provide blank paper.

      You say that like Facebook not just doesn't, but can't exercise discretion over who they do and don't 'sell paper' to.

      And, yeah, if you sell me the paper to publish a 'Kill all Jews' manifesto, use your own paper to make copies, and put a copy in everyone's home, you're liable.

      "Did you know, Hitler did not allow the unexpurgated edition of "Mein Kampf" to be published in America? The only edition, published in 1939, was totally censored. The stuff about the Jews was watered down. A friend of ours is alive today only because his mother could read German. They lived in Holland, they were Jewish, she read "Mein Kampf" in the original and said, 'We're leaving.' So, you take risks."

    1. Stelter is not the government, he has no power to take down Facebook. Acting like this is government overreach is to be wilfully ignorant that Stelter is NOT the government.

      Talking heads say all sorts of stupid things, which is why the best course of action is to ignore them all. They are meaningless automatons akin to Max Headroom.

        1. Hi sarcasmic!
          Ready for today's asskicking? Because I'm feeling a little pissy, and I know what would cheer me up.


          1. Somehow this will be the most libertarian thing ever.

          2. What's your point? CNN lobbied to ban FOX News. Ok. So? CNN isn't government. You're not refuting Merry's point with this story. If anything you're adding to it by showing that the assholes who want other assholes banned require assholes in government to do it.

            1. Keep ignoring the fact that social media companies take their marching orders from the Biden administration.

      1. The problem, you continue to ignore, is that biden has openly discussed talking to these companies while threatening action against them.

        Here is Prof Volokh on the subject:


        [B.] On the other hand, where courts find that the government speech implicitly threatened retaliation, rather than simply exhorting or encouraging third parties to block speech, that's unconstitutional.

        With both Legislatures and the Executive threatening these companies that don't censor, they are now in constitutional questions against the 1A. Your simplistic take on "they are private businesses" belies the actual arguments you seemingly defend these actions under.

      2. Stelter called for the government to create a commission that could determine what the "truth" is, and regulate media to reflect it.

        1. But that doesn't count because Brandy didn't actually read the article.

        2. Some sort of, I don't know, "ministry of truth"?

      3. And when Biden chimes in and agrees, and unfavored outlets get deplatformed, is that just fake collusion?

        1. On purpose as usual.

        2. Brandy does that a lot.

        3. Brandy needs a Cliff Notes version of his coloring book.

      4. Acting like this is government overreach

        The Democrat Party has outsourced its final assault on the Constitution to CNN and other media outlets as well as to EVERY governmental Policing Agency.

        Wring your hands about private companies but those corporations are working directly with the Democrat Party to achieve the desired Political ends.

      5. No, he’s just employed by the democrats to act as a mouthpiece and advance their narrative.

    2. You can use an archive link:


    3. Am I the only one that thinks he'd make a good Ferengi with just a little make up?

  4. This is clearly the most important news from the land downunder in the last year. The fact that it has devolved into a dystopian, authoritarian hellhole is of little interest to libertarians.

    1. Look, if the Government of Australia doesn't arrange all the deck chairs precisely in the totally-not-authoritarian manner that Reason supports here in the US, the whole boat is going to sink.

      Why won't you let these captains of industry force their passengers to use the deck chairs they made free for passengers' use arrange them as they see fit?

      1. Reason magazine:
        Publisher liability bad.
        "Quarantine" camps okay.

    2. So, you wish Reason would cover Australian COVID lockdowns. Maybe they could emulate these guys:


  5. This is where government demands to moderate what users say will ultimately lead.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    1. Local news.

    2. So what does this mean? Judges will become the arbiters of truth in the media? That's scary.

      1. Stossel's suit, if there's any precedent, is not likely to succeed because a previous lawsuit filed under almost identical circumstances failed. The judgement on that suit said that all reasonable people know that Facebook's fact checking is all bullshit, so there's no defamation.

        The problem, in my opinion is that Facebook is now a publisher. Facebook publishes and overlays content onto yours, modifying it in a way saying that their omnipotent fact checkers have found your information to be false. And in both lawsuits, there wasn't even a dispute that Facebook's fact checkers lied.

        Oh, and yes, Judges are arbiters of truth all the time. That's what defamation suits determine. That's what lawsuits against chemical companies determine.

        1. Just another reason to not use Facebook. I figure eventually people will get fed up and something will take its place. Just like malls killed the Sears Catalog, and Amazon killed malls.

          1. If you're using the internet, your using facebook. They've got their tracking cookies in your bank's website, your Walmart account and your favorite porn site.

            1. your Walmart account and your favorite porn site.

              My favorite porn site? I'd be surprised.

              1. Well, not on TOR obviously... for now.

            2. For one thing I regularly disable cookies. You should too. It's not hard. Plus there's DuckDuckGo and most browsers have a privacy mode. No cookies there. In addition I've also got Adblock Plus on my browser.

              Even so, what's the worst they can do with the information? Targeted advertising? Oh no! They're gonna try to sell me stuff!

              1. Privacy mode allows cookies, it just flushes them when the browser closes. This is why websites now link to individual generated links to continue tracking users in privacy mode, another development of Google.

                I thought you claimed to be a programmer.

                1. Can't make a comment without a personal snipe. Just like a thirteen year old girl.

                  1. Except he didn't snipe, you dishonest idiot. He asked why you didn't know how cookies work since you claim to be a programmer.

                    1. I bet you he has kept a private tab open for months defeating the purpose lol.

                  2. Hey, maybe she Is a 13 year old girl. Lots of people will throw in a personal attack in a response. It makes them feel better about themselves. It often happens when they have a weak or nil point in an argument. It's also amusing when non-IT people show their ignorance with their comments. As if *every* programmer routinely deals with cookies. LOL.

              2. I, for one, am quite proud that what few online ads I manage to see are totally irrelevant to me.

                1. Even with adblock I still see ads for Magpul here on Reason. I guess they got my info muahahahaha!

                  1. Now handwave the part where they've been sharing it with the government again.
                    Also Facebook and Google match cookies to IP's when they can, so I hope you're a VPN, trollboy.

              3. I’ve also got Adblock Plus on my browser

                Lol, okay you drunken boomer. You'll never get tracked with Adblock on your Edge browser. You're totes invisible.

        2. "The problem, in my opinion is that Facebook is now a publisher. "

          This is the axiomatic question. Section 230 specifically distinguishes "publisher" vs "Platform" activities. If the fact checkers are providing content, then they are Publishers. If they are doing it under contract to Facebook, then Facebook is doing the publishing.

          Facebook, of course knows this, and so it would not be surprising to find out that they crafted their bullshit fact-checking relationship to skirt this law. "We don't actually pay the fact checkers. They just publish their content under a heavily moderated and exclusive fact checking platform. They then get ad revenue."

          How is this different than a site that allows users to publish articles, and allows other, premium users to comment on the article? To me, section 230 would still protect the platform because they have just created a space for two user groups to publish articles/rebuttals. Is this substantially different?

          1. Facebook appends words and has tweeted about their actions in response to the fact checkers. They take a positive action to modify the content. They are publishers in that regard regardless of the fact checkers.

            1. This is how I see it. I don't know if that's how the law sees it... as I'm no lawyer (or Doctor). But this seems to go beyond a "premium user", given that Facebook essentially has... at minimum a business partnership with these third parties, and at maximum, are wholly owned and supported.

              1. That's how the law sees it too. It just depends if you're judge is a leftist ideologue who rules based on his politics, not the constitution.

          2. But the problem is that Facebook responded to the lying fact-checkers and restricted access to Stossel's information based on those lies. Clearly they're choosing what is and isn't allowed to be published if they're going to retract certain things based on claims made by fact-checkers.

            The legal situation makes it difficult but from an ethical standpoint, I find it hard to believe that nobody is liable for lies that have financial repercussions on another person.

            1. Funny (or not) that I learned of Stossel suing the looters on WordPress, not Reason. Here's hoping he skins them alive!

        3. Ahhh the nyt defence of "no reasonable person thinks we're news"

        4. It's a bit different in that there's literally a factual claim, a misattribution. Their summary quotes things he never said, and in fact, he said the opposite of it. It's an easy matter of misattribute fact.

          The big legal hurdle is that Facebook claims the factchecking entities aren't related to them; they outsource that stuff and therefore hold no responsibility for factcheckers claims. It makes it hard to pin down someone responsible for financial losses when there's libel that results in him being deplatformed due to blatant lies. In terms of factual claims Stossel is really on firm ground, but the underlying legal issues are still a minefield.

      2. Judges will become the arbiters of truth in the media? That’s scary.

        Agreed. Spotty defense of individual freedoms is scary. Less scary that nationwide and even transcontinental back-room oppression.

    3. At least David Schultz didn’t slap him.

  6. The Anschluß Ausschluß.

    1. Australia finally merging with Austria, ending decades of geographic confusion.

      1. Austria! Well, then. G'day mate! Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!

      2. The hills are alive with the sound of a wallaby being eaten by a python!

  7. Private Kroporashun.

    SAN FRANCISCO — YouTube is taking down several video channels associated with high-profile anti-vaccine activists including Joseph Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who experts say are partially responsible for helping seed the skepticism that’s contributed to slowing vaccination rates across the country.

    As part of a new set of policies aimed at cutting down on anti-vaccine content on the Google-owned site, YouTube will ban any videos that claim that commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous. The company previously blocked videos that made those claims about coronavirus vaccines, but not ones for other vaccines like those for measles or chickenpox.

    1. commonly used vaccines approved by health authorities are ineffective or dangerous.

      The vaccines are ineffective by the very definition of health authorities.

    2. helping seed the skepticism that’s contributed to slowing vaccination rates across the country

      You mean like when Kamala Harris publicly declared that she wouldn't trust the vaccine?

      1. What's Biden's public declaration of vaccine distrust, chopped liver?

        1. I honestly don't remember hearing about Biden making such a statement (or any statement, for that matter) during the campaign.

          1. Mashup of Democrats claiming they wouldn't trust any vaccine.

            Politifact laughably contorted themselves into claiming that Biden's distrust wasn't of the vaccine, but a distrust of Trump, so his distrust of the vaccine was really about distrust of Trump.

            1. Which is hilariously unprincipled several layers deep. It's not like Trump was in the lab swirling cultures over a bunsen burner, dosing them with bleach, and then putting them in ampoules to be shipped out.

          2. @33 second into video:

            Biden: if and when we get a vaccine, god willing, are YOU gonna take the shot?

    3. The creator of mRNA technology, Dr. Robert Malone, got buried after he put forth concerns about the vaccines. After decades of attibution as the lead in discovery, credit has been passed to others and his name expunged.

      Nothing to see here, take your jab.

  8. >>a place for credible journalism ... a CNN spokeswoman said.

    war is peace
    liars are credible

  9. "The big losers here are citizens of Australia who want to access CNN's content via social media"

    I'm sure all 6 of them will be very upset at this.

    1. Yes, users who access CNN content are big losers.

  10. First of all this is Australia which is going far down the rabbit hole of fascism so your Fakebook concerns are the least of your worries there.

    Second CNN runs its own fucking website and isn't beholden to what Australians think. China blocks them already and maybe Australia will too! That's how nations sometimes work. It's up to the citizens of Oz to figure that out.

    That you cannot access or comment on a Fakebook account is meaningless. It's not news, it's not real, it's terrible.

  11. A glimpse into life after section 230 is repealed...

    1. People getting their news firsthand rather than through CNN through Facebook? The horror!

      1. And if it destroys internet comments sections, then so be it. People being forced to communicate face to face again would be a good thing.

        1. Not forced. No one is going to compel them to communicate face to face and comments sections are hardly the only means of communication on the internet, but I don't see how people communicating more directly and being held responsible for *their* twisting *others'* words is a bad thing.

    2. A repeal which Facebook has called for. A glimpse indeed.

  12. It's a crappy situation that directly follows from a bad court decision - but it is a bit rich hearing CNN whine about "credible journalism".

    1. It’s a crappy situation that directly follows from a bad court decision

      Agreed. SCOTUS should've struck down the CDA entirely.

      1. What are you talking about? Neither SCOTUS nor the CDA are relevant to Australian law.

  13. Those who don't care if free speech has far fewer places to happen--so long as CNN and Facebook get the shaft--should absolutely support the repeal of Section 230.


    1. Free speech already has fewer places to happen.

    2. We care about the fact that free speech has far fewer places to happen. Indeed, it is literally impossible for it to happen on propaganda outlets owned by team blue. The other side is marginally better, since they are either too stupid/unwilling/principled to steep to blues' level.

      1. And the industries protected by 230 are even colluding to end free speech spaces like Parlor. AWS now has regulations in place (same with Google apps and Apple store) for companies to monitor user interactions. All done under 230.

        1. It's been so grossly abused I can only support burning down the whole thing and starting fresh.

          Compromise is the poisoned cup Progs offer to get their way.

  14. Platforms already moderate speech based on third-party pressure, sometimes government, sometimes not. The reason to reform Section 230 is to ensure safe harbor is only accorded to platforms which permit open and vigorous exchange in the spirit of the town square. A platform which uses its First Amendment speech rights to remove / modify third-party content with which it disagrees should not enjoy litigation immunity.

    1. Disagree. Who is going to judge, if not the owners of a site, when they are “in the spirit”?

      1. If owners want to modify non-protected speech, then they don't get to enjoy litigation safe harbor. At least that's the way it should be.

      2. Don't modify content and there's no issues. This is not difficult.

  15. Good. One less place for CNN to spread its propaganda. And if FB really was a platform, there wouldn't be any 'need' for such legislation. Then again, we all know that they aren't, and calling them publishers would still be a huge euphemism.

    1. There is no publisher vs platform aspect to Section 230.

      1. Platform is a particularly socialist concept. A private company builds a billboard, and all of a sudden everyone claims a right to print their nonsense on it?

  16. Responsibility is commensurate with authority.

    This is what happens when a wolf in sheep’s clothing says they’ll relieve you of the responsibility for what you say.

    You lose your authority to speak.

  17. Is CNN actually doing credible journalism in Australia?

    If so, could we get some of their staff from that country brought up to the US operation?

    1. Sadly, CNN is only protecting their own.

    2. I don't think you can leave there now. Maybe if you live within 3km of an airport?

  18. How many manhours has Australia just added to their economy?
    If the total hours spent on social media were spent on production, we might be able to afford Biden.

    1. Well, people aren’t allowed to work there anyway, so what’s the loss?

  19. Bootlicking and looterlicking lead to exactly this. Transportees, jailers and their descendents have no trouble cultivating backward Trumpistas. Australia finally managed to legalize a Libertarian Party only last year. It therefore follows, as day follows night, that women in South Australia only acquired individual rights this year, trailing Argentina and even Ireland by several laps. Still, better late than never to gain freedom through the operation of law-changing LP spoiler votes.

    1. ...wtf are you on?

  20. Your girlfriend's birthday is coming up, but you are one of those who are wondering. Where can I get beautiful birthday messages for my girlfriend in 2021? It has happened to all of us at some point, and I have to tell you that you are in the right place.
    Thinking about it, we have made a compilation of some nice birthday phrases for your girlfriend that you can find on the net.

  21. But it's okay that the Federalist had to remove comments because otherwise Google would demonetize them

  22. I saw that ABC special. And read comments against him. Although I disagree with the decision. I can’t blame the man for filing the lawsuit.

  23. Mark Zuckerberg is a glorified producer of cat videos who has imposed his nerd-frat worldview on the entire planet, having been elected by no one.

    Maybe Congress can find a rare moment of agreement in removing these liability protections. Trumpers, in a bit of logic so unfathomably stupid it even surprises me, think this would somehow be good for their rampant dissemination of neo-Nazi ideology. Let them go on believing that.

    There is very little mystery here with respect to the toxicity of internet social media. You can immediately react to someone you don't have to look in the eyes or even exchange voices. There are little or no social consequences for rudeness, so naturally rudeness metastasizes.

    The simple math of it all works out that the companies are incentivized to maximize hate-filled tirades, because that means engagement, and that means advertiser dollars. You know how we are. Someone tweeting "My daughter graduated today!" is not likely to inspire 5,000 furious replies. But a controversial political opinion? Click. Eyeballs. Consequence-free rage at other humans.

    This is, you'll recall, the plot of Ghostbusters II.

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