Free Speech

New Colorado Bill Would Create Commission to Restrict "Hate Speech," "Fake News," "Conspiracy Theories" on Social Media Platforms

The bill was introduced by Colorado Senate president pro tem Kerry Donovan (who is also running for Congress).

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The bill, introduced Friday, would create a state "digital communications division" and "digital communications commission" that would, among other things, "investigate and … hold hearings on claims … that a digital communications platform"—which includes "social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and media-sharing platforms like YouTube and Twitch"—"has allowed a person to engage in one or more unfair or discriminatory digital communications practices on the platform," including

  • "practices that promote hate speech;
  • undermine election integrity;
  • disseminate intentional disinformation, conspiracy theories, or fake news; or
  • authorize, encourage, or carry out violations of users' privacy."

None of these terms are defined in the bill. And the bill is all about suppressing the "unfair or discriminatory" speech:

If the adjudicator at the hearing determines that the respondent engaged in an unfair or discriminatory digital communications practice, the commission may issue and cause to be served on the respondent an order requiring the respondent to cease and desist from the practice and to take action that the commission orders.

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  1. Is there even an argument that can be made to claim that the bill is constitutional?

    1. What has that got to do with anything?

    2. As a whole? Probably not. If you excised only the worst clauses? Maybe. Looking at the bullets in the article above, enforcement of the first and third bullets (hate speech and fake news) would clearly be problematic. However, enforcement of the second and fourth bullets would probably be defensible. Violating privacy and interfering with elections can both be crimes so charging platforms as de facto conspirators in that crime is at least plausible. Bad social policy in my opinion but maybe defensible.

      1. ” However, enforcement of the second and fourth bullets would probably be defensible.”

        You think the government can regulate discussions of whether or not elections are conducted fairly? That’s probably the worst one. And the fourth seems problematic as well.

        1. I am, perhaps too charitably, interpreting “undermine” to mean rather more than “discussion about whether it happened”.

          The “encourage” part of bullet 4 is a problem but actively “carry[ing] out” would be less so.

          Again, I’m not saying that any of this is a good idea. I’m just saying that if you squint at it the right way, you can maybe meet Formerly’s threshold of ‘an argument to claim that the bill is constitutional’.

          1. You shouldn’t be able to get around the bill of rights by squinting at it in a certain way.

    3. leaving aside first amendment concerns, does colorado have jurisdiction to regulate speech on facebook? if so, does boulder county? if so, does the university of colorado?

      1. The state likely has jurisdiction just like it has jurisdiction to regulate companies doing business in the state, even if they’re headquartered out of state. An argument that Facebook does no business in Colorado would probably be….unpersuasive. What towns and universities do is probably a matter of state law.

        While they likely have jurisdiction over Facebook, this might present some dormant commerce clause issues, because it could be burdensome to interstate commerce.

  2. I can see so many reasons why this bill is a bad idea. Anyone can consider, bend, twist, or analyze any negative statement (or statement they consider to be negative if it doesn’t fall into their way of thinking) into “hate speech”. Ideas that are opposite the current popular public view can’t be voiced right now because we have a generation or two of people who are so lacking in strength of personal constitution, that collects are trying to designate “free speech” zones because somebody walking in a PUBLIC place didn’t like what another person thought or said out loud. Apparently, even some universities forgot this ENTIRE COUNTRY is a designated free speech area. Also, for the love of God! Enough with the petty laws and regulations already! Gorucsh was correct that there is an insane amount of over criminalization in this country already.

  3. Ministry of truth?

    1. Maybe, but you must capitalize “Truth”.

    2. Yep. Ministry of Love can’t be too far behind…

      1. CO already has Loveland

  4. Name one time in history when the people restricting speech, censoring, banning books, and arresting/indicting/imprisoning people for things they said were the good guys.

    Waiting….

    1. Tomorrow. In Colorado.

      1. As others have said – When was the last time people in favor of censorship were the good guys

    2. America until about 1919.

      1. I’m reading Gordon Wood’s Empire of Liberty right now, which is a history of the Republic from 1789-1815. The founding generation were all over the map when it came to speech, and pretty much the same as us when it came to selective outrage. On balance the Federalists were worse on speech issues…the Jeffersonian Republicans were dominating the print media at the time. Of course the Federalists had no trouble getting their message out there, it just became less and less popular after Washington.

    3. Could this be far more complicated than the narrative you’ve set up? Fox recently fired the people who (correctly) called Arizona for Biden. Is that ‘restricting speech’ or ‘censoring?’ BYU fired an instructor because he published a pro-SSM letter to the editor in an unrelated newspaper. ‘Restricting speech’ or ‘censoring?’ How about the Bush administration lending prosecutors to help ‘arrest/indict/imprison’ people on obscenity charges (selling dirty movies)? How about those whose speech was criminalized by Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project?

      1. That has nothing to do with what the state government can do.

        1. You’re moving the goalposts. Here’s the original comment I was replying to:

          Name one time in history when the people restricting speech, censoring, banning books, and arresting/indicting/imprisoning people for things they said were the good guys.

          Waiting….

          1. Your stupidity/illiteracy is showing again. Pay particular attention to this part of what you were replying to:

            and arresting/indicting/imprisoning people

            This makes the statement as a whole applicable only to state actors (ie, those with the power to arrest/indict/imprison people). There was no goalpost moving. Your kick was just short…by a lot.

          2. You really have a passion for picking fights.
            What goalposts? Who is moving?
            Try to chill.

      2. Could this be far more complicated than the narrative you’ve set up?

        No. It’s actually pretty simple and straight-forward.

        Fox recently fired the people who (correctly) called Arizona for Biden. Is that ‘restricting speech’ or ‘censoring?’ BYU fired an instructor because he published a pro-SSM letter to the editor in an unrelated newspaper. ‘Restricting speech’ or ‘censoring?’

        Which of those are governmental bodies?

        How about the Bush administration lending prosecutors to help ‘arrest/indict/imprison’ people on obscenity charges (selling dirty movies)? How about those whose speech was criminalized by Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project??

        Did those things make Bush and Holder “the good guys”?

        1. Okay, but let’s be real. A lot, if not most, of this cancel culture debate is about private entities and not government. I mean that’s why it is cancel “culture” and not cancel government action. Most conservative complaints are about private social media companies or other private entities reactions to different types of speech.

          1. Okay, but let’s be real.

            Yes, let’s.

            A lot, if not most, of this cancel culture debate is about private entities and not government.

            This particular debate is about the constitutionality of a bit of proposed legislation, and to a lesser extent the mindset of some legislators when it comes to the U.S. Constitution. The attempt to deflect by injecting irrelevant whataboutisms is a lot of things, but “being real” isn’t one of them.

        2. Suddenly free speech only matters for government action? I look forwards to you never bringing up Twitter and the like again.

          1. Suddenly free speech only matters for government action?

            When the subject at hand is the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of a proposed legislative action? Yes.

            I look forwards to you never accusing anyone of “whataboutism” again. Well, I would…if I didn’t already know you to be the dishonest hypocrite that you are.

            1. Tech media giants censoring harrassment (including, coincidentally, I assure you, harrassing tweets of politicians) to appease government officials demanding such or section 230 might get changed, or the need to break them up rear its righteous head, is hardly free, uncensored speech in the marketplace of ideas.

            2. You didn’t make a whattaboutism argument, you made a distinguishing argument.

              And you absolutely distinguish QA’s example. But the thing is, your principles cannot vary thread-to-thread for your arguments to be taken seriously.

              1. You didn’t make a whattaboutism argument

                No, I didn’t. QA did, and I pointed that out. Try to keep up.

                But the thing is, your principles cannot vary thread-to-thread for your arguments to be taken seriously.

                Like you know the first thing about either principles or being taken seriously.

                1. “Which of those are governmental bodies?” is an argument to distinguish QA’s example, not that it’s whattaboutism.

                  Neato attack on me. But what about the principle you lay out: are all nongovernmental actions hunky-dory speech restrictions?

                  Because it looks like you’re conflating what the law is/what the law should be/how corporations should act/how people should act.

                  1. But what about the principle you lay out: are all nongovernmental actions hunky-dory speech restrictions?

                    I laid out no principle regarding nongovernmental actions. I pointed out that they’re not relevant with regard to evaluating the constitutionality of governmental actions. But you know that, you lying sack.

                    Because it looks like….

                    No, it doesn’t…you lying sack.

                    1. You must specify a difference with your distinction, or you haven’t made an argument.

                      It appears I gave you too much credit; you have weaseled so hard you don’t even have a thesis.

                    2. It appears I gave you too much credit

                      You never had any credit to give…you lying sack of shit.

                  2. “But what about the principle you lay out: are all nongovernmental actions hunky-dory speech restrictions?”

                    WazYoung: State action restricting speech is bad.

                    CathyNewmanstro: So you’re saying nongovernmental actions restricting speech are hunky dory?

                    This is very bad reasoning, CathyNewmanstro.

          2. “Suddenly free speech only matters for government action? I look forwards to you never bringing up Twitter and the like again.”

            Sarcastro seems incapable of grasping that public and private restrictions on speech raise different concerns.

            1. Well, he’s in good company with most of the Republican Party on that one.

              1. You still haven’t told us what you think of the Democrats plans to create the Colorado Ministry of Truth.

                1. Scroll down.

            2. What are these different concerns, TiP?

              Because without explaining that, you’re just moving the goalpost.

              1. What goalpost? What are you talking about?

              2. “What are these different concerns, TiP?”

                Just to bring up an example, the other day I ask if being able to discuss issues of the day was important to news-gathering, and if we should trust Slate’s reporting if they fired employees for their opinions about the McNeil firing.

                You dishonestly characterized my comments as claiming that public and private speech is the same.

                Does that help with your goalpost?

                1. As I recall, you were arguing that Slate’s speech policies had the same impact as governmentally mandated speech policies, so…yeah, you seem pretty mixed up still.

                  If you just say ‘well these examples are private, and this is public, and we need to treat those differently’ you should probably discuss how to treat those differently.

                  But you didn’t. And when pressed, you still aren’t.

                  Perhaps because you don’t want to let Twitter various corporate wokeness performances off the hook, and yet also want to ignore these examples of the right doing the same thing.

                  Perhaps there is another reason. But I’d love it if you were to explain when private speech restrictions are like public ones and when they are not.

                  1. “As I recall, you were arguing that Slate’s speech policies had the same impact as governmentally mandated speech policies, so…yeah, you seem pretty mixed up still.”

                    I’m mixed up about what I was arguing? I was arguing that Slate’s speech policies made them less reliable journalists.

                    You falsely claimed that I was saying that public and private speech restrictions were the same, and I chided you for attacking a strawman.

                    The reason people call you Gaslightro is because you pull crap like this.

    4. That all depends on who you think are the good guys. Unless you think there is no such thing as “good guys,” which I think is a perfectly acceptable answer.

  5. This is not a good thing.

    1. Unnoticed except by the Washington Post?

      1. I think he means by Eugene and the conservative “cancel culture is bad” commentariat.

        1. It’s about banning protests in certain non-public fora? May or may not be bad, depending on the details. But this sounds worse.

          1. What do you mean non-public fora? It’s about a government seeking to impose consequences on those for not being sufficiently nationalistic to the tastes of legislators. That’s pretty bad.

            1. I don’t know, I haven’t read the article. What do you think of the bill that this post is about?

              1. “I don’t know, I just dismissed it.”

                1. Yeesh. I’ve commented on the subject before. I don’t read every article on every subject. IIRC the wapo has a comments section where people who are interested in that article can comment about it.

      2. Unnoticed, or maybe noticed and ignored, by conservative champions of free speech, and critics of “cancel culture.”

        1. Does it include criminally prosecuting students for speech, or expelling students for innocuous speech years prior to admission?

          In any event, we should make sure we endorse strong norms of free speech on campus to protect everybody’s speech.

          1. Oops wrong place.

            1. Doesn’t really matter; anywhere in comments on any article is OK here.

    2. Jeffrey Sachs had a wild thread last week about all the ways Republican state legislators would like to control campus speech.

      https://mobile.twitter.com/JeffreyASachs/status/1365365490718228484

      1. Thanks for the link, LTG.

        Everyone who raises hell when some idiot students shout down a speaker should read it. Twice.

        1. The “idiot students” are able to repeatedly shout down speakers (and get away with it) only because the administration lets them. Same with “idiot” Antifa and law enforcement.

        2. This is the stuff where they give “diversity training” to tell students to be less white?

          Yeah, parts of the bills in the article are a threat to academic freedom. Others aren’t.

          There’s nothing bring with states refusing to pay for such training outside of a classroom or academic setting.

          And schools should probably defund the grievance studies programs that produce this stuff, they don’t produce much of value. But they can’t place viewpoint based restrictions on it being discussed.

          1. I don’t think schools were funding the 1776 project?

            1. Why shouldn’t public schools be free to exclude the 1619 project from the curriculum? It’s an explicitly ideological project produced by non-historians.

              1. History teachers should be free to teach history in a manner consistent with the goals and methods of historical study. That includes discussion of things like how people view the institution and legacy of slavery in American History. And unlike the 1776 project some actual American historians were involved.

                1. Sure. I read the article as limited to non-postsecondary schools, which traditionally have a lower degree of academic freedom, but you are correct as applied to universities.

      2. Does it include criminally prosecuting students for speech, or expelling students for innocuous speech years prior to admission?

        In any event, we should make sure we endorse strong norms of free speech on campus to protect everybody’s speech.

      3. And professors are routinely disciplined for racist speech. They probably shouldn’t be, but until we put in place protections for that type of speech, I don’t see an additional problem with preventing professors from espousing many of the viewpoints expressed in CRT.

        1. Time was, the left (correctly) defended outrageous speech by professors. Communism, or even “America deserved 9-11”.

          But then the left realized they had greater political control of their enemies through cancel culture, tbe feigning or breeding of outrage for the purpose of enough public pressure to override that and hurt political opponents through firing.

          Before, they were in the business of offending the common citizen via defense of speech of professors. After, direct hurting, and if a professor they’d previously defend got stomped by their new machine, oh well. It was never about you anyway.

        2. So in a link to a bunch of Republican hypocrites doing the cancel culture thing, what you get out of it is that liberals are inconsistent?

          I and many of my fellow liberals here in these comments are happy to condemn this bill, and the general idea on the left that hate speech can and should be policed, but I’ve never seen y’all on the right be willing to do anything in response to your side’s censorious nonsense other than point at the left.

          Don’t be such tools.

          1. “So in a link to a bunch of Republican hypocrites doing the cancel culture thing, what you get out of it is that liberals are inconsistent?”

            What I get out if it, as I posted above, is, “parts of the bills in the article are a threat to academic freedom. Others aren’t.”

            I then proceeded to comment about some of the things I should were threats, and some that I thought were not.

            If you reduce that to, “liberals are inconsistent,” then you’re the tool. And you’re gaslighting again.

    3. Yeah, that seems a bit unconstitutional, too.

      1. State and local officials really like to lean into emphasizing the petty in “no official high or petty.”

    4. Stupid and almost certainly unconstitutional but hardly “unnoticed”. There was an article here about it just a few days ago. I remember because I got into a long argument with about when and why this stupid tradition of playing the national anthem at sports events got started in the first place.

      1. Yeah I saw it all over the place the other day, including somewhere on Reason. It was a pretty big story.

        But why should he criticize his own side when the other side is there to be criticized? Don’t be ridiculous and expect him to believe that his own side should behave better.

        1. Selective policeman of ‘both-sider-ism’ strikes again.

          1. Fuck off, partisan hack. When reason posted about the Tennessee kneeling proposal i criticized it stand alone. Pointed out that, as in this case, our legislators don’t take their oath to defend the constitution seriously.

            I criticize both sides stand alone, you are pure left 24/7, and you call me selective? Demonstrated the degree to which you’re totally full of shit.

          2. Selective policeman of ‘both-sider-ism’ strikes again.

            I’m curious…what exactly is the endgame for this routine of yours where you go out of your way to look as stupid as possible every time you post?

      2. Stupid commenting system. I forgot that Reason interprets anything inside angle-brackets (less-than, greater-than symbols) as an attempt at HTML and won’t display it. That should have been “… long argument with [I don’t remember who] about when and why …”

      3. There was an article here about it just a few days ago.

        On VC, or some other part of Reason?

        1. On main Reason. Link below.

    5. Unnoticed only in that Reason noticed it and posted a critical article on Feb 24.
      https://reason.com/2021/02/24/tennessee-republicans-kneeling-student-athletes-national-anthem/

      1. Here you go Queenie.

        Don’t have to scroll very far down the comments to see my comment criticizing the Republican legislators of Tennessee. No mention of the other side.

        I’m not a partisan dipshit like you.

    6. Meanwhile, passing unnoticed.

      The fact that you failed to notice others noticing and discussing it doesn’t mean that it went unnoticed. It just means that you need to dislodge your cranium from your rectum.

      1. Of course they are. Gestures can be speech.

        Are you saying that flipping someone the bird isn’t speech?

  6. Kerry Donovan needs to resign on the spot
    . Deport to Chinese Commie China for whom he wprms. Investigate him. Put him in prison for collusion.

  7. And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.

    1. Love it when a bunch of non-historians try to run history classes. I was going to say they never did this with science…but then I remembered the same types of people also think they are biologists and cosmologists.

    2. Historical interpretation is constantly in flux as a result of the discovery of new original source material as well as new interpretations of or different emphasis in known original source material. Thus a “new way of looking” at it is not to be criticized but encouraged.

      The 1619 Project however has received justifiable criticism from a large number of respected scholars. Moreover IIRC at least certain school districts have proposed using and teaching it to the exclusion of countervailing materials.

      If the students are sufficiently-sophisticated to discern between both sets of materials – a scenario upon which I can’t confidently comment but which I consider questionable – then using both the 1619 Project and materials offering a different perspective can be legitimate. But utilizing the former alone is unjustifiable given its polemic posture and its corroborated errors.

      1. I really hate the discourse around the 1619 project. The entire point was to open discussion and get people to rethink how slavery has affected American history and still affects us today. Most of the focus is on the Nikole Hannah Jones foreword and not the rest of the submissions, which unlike the 1776 project had some actual American historians involved. And a lot are pieces of art and literature anyway rather than straight history. Literature classes always have books that contain social commentary that isn’t necessarily related to a dominant historical narrative.

    3. And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.

      Claiming that one cannot learn about slavery without woke bullshit like the 1619 is even more stupid than your usual nonsense. Well done.

      1. They go a little further than that, you moron.

        1. They go a little further than that, you moron.

          Says the moron who claimed that an issue covered on this very blog and elsewhere when it came up last week passed “unnoticed”. And, from your own link:

          “The proposals primarily target The New York Times’ “1619 Project,””

          And even factoring in other parts of said proposals, none of it constitutes preventing kids from learning about slavery…you moron.

          1. Read the comment you are replying to, and try again.

            1. Uh…what part of…

              And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.

              …and/or…

              They go a little further than that, you moron.

              …are you under the mistaken impression that I missed? Oh, and I like the way you chided him for name-calling like you’re so quick to do with others. Weren’t you just prattling about consistency of principles?

              1. You: Claiming that one cannot learn about slavery without woke bullshit like the 1619 is even more stupid than your usual nonsense. Well done.

                bernard11: They go a little further than that, you moron.

                You: [E]ven factoring in other parts of said proposals, none of it constitutes preventing kids from learning about slavery

                1. Insert before Sarcastro’s comment:

                  bernard11: And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.

                2. Correction, with the original post that you intentionally omitted…

                  bernard11: And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.

                  Me: Claiming that one cannot learn about slavery without woke bullshit like the 1619 is even more stupid than your usual nonsense. Well done.

                  bernard11: They go a little further than that, you moron.

                  Me: [E]ven factoring in other parts of said proposals, none of it constitutes preventing kids from learning about slavery

                  ….you moron (since you’re clearly cool with that now).

                3. You also omitted this part of my response….

                  “And, from your own link:

                  “The proposals primarily target The New York Times’ “1619 Project,””

                  …you moron.

                  1. Still not just about slavery, chief.

                    1. Still not just about slavery, chief.

                      The claim to which I responded…

                      “And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.”

                      …is just about students learning about slavery…you moron.

                    2. To what do you think the ‘that’ in “They go a little further than that” refers?

                    3. To what do you think the ‘that’ in “They go a little further than that” refers?

                      Of what relevance is that to the claim he made (that someone is trying to prevent school kids from learning about slavery) that I responded to?

                      Spoiler alert: It is of zero relevance…you moron.

                    4. And weren’t you just wagging your finger at someone else about moving goalposts…you hypocritical moron?

                    5. What does it tell you that you keep having to deflect from the actual post you were replying to and go to a previous post?

                      Seems like maybe you lost the conversational thread to me. No shame in it, unless you double down over and over again.

                    6. What does it tell you that you keep having to deflect from the actual post you were replying to and go to a previous post?

                      The actual post I was replying to (you know, the one that made the initial claim and established the subject at hand)…

                      “And heaven forbid students should learn about slavery.”

                      …you lying moron.

                    7. “Seems like maybe you lost the conversational thread to me. No shame in it, unless you double down over and over again.”

                      Maybe you or bernard11 can point out where you think people are trying to prevent people from learning about slavery? Or are you guys gaslighting again?

                    8. “What does it tell you that you keep having to deflect from the actual post you were replying to and go to a previous post?”

                      It tells me that you keep taking his comment out of context.

                    9. “To what do you think the ‘that’ in “They go a little further than that” refers?”

                      It couldn’t possibly refer to slavery, because that would be a huge example of goalpost-moving by bernard11, and we all know that you would call him out on that, right Sarcastro?

      2. One critic says it is “[R]acially divisive and revisionist account of history that threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the true principles on which it was founded.”

        You know, it’s funny. I’ve recently been reading two authors who are hardly “woke” and in fact criticized the 1619 Project: Gordon Wood and James McPherson who wrote entries in the Oxford History of the United States. All volumes so far and all the planned ones are written and edited by very old white men based on old decades old scholarship.

        And if you literally just taught about slavery from the Oxford History of the United States, you would probably be subject to the exact same criticism. That you’re being racially divisive and denying the truth of the Founding.

  8. If this bill passes, will Arthur Kirkland be able to post on Volokh?

  9. Most legislators don’t believe it’s their job to uphold the Constitution. (That’s what courts are for.) They believe their job is to do things that make their constituents feel good.

    1. One good solution would be to fine legislators who vote for a bill that is later judged to be unconstitutional.

  10. When will we first hear the obvious argument that since the First Amendment permits creating a hostile environment by minorities, it was superceded by the 14th?

  11. OK, so some idiot legislator introduced an idiotic bill. News at 11. Get back to me if it actually passes.

    1. When a legislator attempts something blatantly unconstitutional it’s worth noting…especially when that legislator has made themselves a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.

    2. “Let’s don’t talk about protecting our civil rights until after they’ve been taken away”.

      Really? That’s how we should handle stuff like this?

      1. The probability of this stupid bill actually becoming law is virtually nonexistent. Introducing it into the legislature is posturing and nothing more. Granted, it would disincline me to vote for its author for the US House if I lived in his district. And if somehow the stars all align just right and it does become law, I can’t imagine any judge appointed by any president doing anything other than tossing it as unconstitutional.

        So this is a case of pick your battles. I’m worried about bad stuff that might actually become law. This one won’t.

        1. Yeah. We’ve got a growing problem with elected people ignoring their oath to defend the constitution. And receiving no sanction for it. A couple of these people need to get crushed to get the message out that we expect them to honor their oath.

          Otherwise once it passes it’s hard to get rid of. Take, say, civil asset forfeiture. I cannot fathom how CAF as practiced isn’t a flagrant violation of the 5th amendment. The “can’t be deprived of life,liberty, or property with out due process of law” part. But we have it, somehow, and it’s harder to get rid of than herpes.

  12. If this is ever applied to anti-semitism there will be no democratic party posting.

    1. Stephen Miller is a Democrat?

  13. Seems highly unconstitutional under the First Amendment to me. But like Rossami said above, 2 and 4 could possibly be defensible depending on what they have in mind. If there is some narrow set of circumstances (like spreading blatantly wrong information about voting methods instance.

    Also…are there going to be dormant commerce clause issues here? Seems like you could run into that as they are essentially regulating interstate communications.

  14. Kerry Donovan sounds like a dope. Her inherited ranch, Notre Dame degree, backwater district, and legislative record make her a strong candidate to become a Republican.

    1. Yes, because trying to use the power of the state to control/punish public speech (like “hate speech” and the like) is so uncharacteristic of Democrat legislators.

  15. Still waiting to discover how long it will take for you guys to get it through your skulls that Section 230 creates inevitable and irresistible demands for government censorship. The first step in any fix is to repeal Section 230.

    Keep trying. While Section 230 remains in effect, you aren’t going to find any way to govern online publishing without government censorship.

    I’m tired of explaining why, and being attacked for my efforts. Beat yourselves up some more, and maybe later you can figure it out for yourselves.

    1. You continue to be wrong. Beat yourself up and perhaps later you can understand why.

      1. Jason, your comment is on a thread occasioned by broad proposed censorship legislation—of the sort I have predicted for 4 years Section 230 would encourage. It is one of many such threads since 2017. How wrong can I be?

        1. How wrong can I be?

          That’s a good question. Every time I think it’s been answered you just outdo yourself.

    2. Still waiting to discover how long it will take for you to get it through your skull that Section 230 expressly prevents government censorship. Repealing 230 would lead to less speech, not more. And why? Because of government censorship.

  16. Any such impact will have a disparate impact. Such statistics are now sufficient evidence of discrimination at the Supreme Court.

  17. Prof. V:

    Might you also want to talk about Utah’s flip side legislation, the so-called Freedom from Biased Moderation Act, which aims to make moderation so onerous that social media companies will be unable to do it?

    1. Pretty funny Nieporent. You say Section 230 prevents government censorship. Then you link to a concurrent proposal for a different kind of government censorship in another state. Section 230 sure seems to be encouraging an awful lot of what you say it prevents.

      1. This is so dumb that it’s hard to believe someone who wrote it could actually figure out how to tie his shoes.

        1) This bill is not a “kind of government censorship.” It’s a kind of government compelled speech, which is very different.
        2) Section 230 does prevent this; it preempts this bill.

        1. Section 230 did not preempt this bill. To say that is ridiculous. The bill exists, un-preempted. It is quoted extensively in the OP. You linked to it. It says you have to agree to say whatever Utah will compel you to say, or Utah will restrict your ability to publish. That is censorship.

          I’m not much interested in how the details would be argued in court. If to be a publisher, I have to agree to say what the state tells me to say, I am being censored. I have to find another line of work.

          You argue only to argue. You strain to say that although I predicted at least 4 years ago (and time-and-again afterward) that Section 230 would create pressure for censorship, this is not an example to prove it. It is an example—an example among a great many—as anyone but you would acknowledge.

          Other examples are sufficient by themselves, so you lose the argument anyway. You would lose even without your paradoxically absurd assertion that Section 230 preempted something that you linked to after it happened.

          You can keep losing if you want. Just keep arguing that Section 230 will not create more pressure for censorship, and example after example will be along to refute you.

          I will make another prediction. If Section 230 is not repealed, proliferation of pro-censorship advocacy will prove politically overwhelming. To advocate press censorship will cease to be marginal discourse—that part is barely prediction, because it is already happening. Within a decade or less—maybe much less—censorship advocates will start winning cases. With enough censorship wins in lower courts, the Supreme Court will start to trim. And bit by bit, press freedom as we have known it will become history.

          Perhaps the new doctrine will be, “Who needs press freedom for publishers? Press freedom for everyone is what matters more.” I bet that sounds good to you, Nieporent. It would probably sound good to anyone so ignorant of history, and of publishing, that they would be at a loss to explain why publishers are as indispensable to press freedom as are printing presses, broadcast media, and the internet.

          You think of yourself as a 1A advocate, but you persist in defense of the most virulent threat to press freedom this nation has seen in at least 100 years. Apparently, you do that because you are a legal utopian, who supposes whatever a law says, as interpreted by you, is what the law will deliver in practice. Section 230 cannot deliver on your utopian expectations. It will continue—as it has done already—to run afoul of practices—such as editing prior to publishing—indispensable for continuation of the activity it purports to govern. Had you understood publishing, you could have read that prediction in the text of the bill.

          I get that you don’t think editing is indispensable. You wouldn’t. You are a utopian. Be sure you let everyone know when you figure out how publishing without editing can co-exist with press freedom, after the resulting flood of demands for government censorship overwhelms the political process. The bills from Colorado and Utah show it happening already.

          1. Section 230 did not preempt this bill. To say that is ridiculous. The bill exists, un-preempted.

            You clearly have no idea what “preempt” means in a legal context. The mere existence of a bill does not mean that one or more of its provisions aren’t preempted by existing superior law.

            It is quoted extensively in the OP. You linked to it.

            He did not link to what is quoted in the OP. This is not an example of an error in wording on your part. It’s an example of you not being able to follow a discussion and know what the hell you’re talking about.

            You would lose even without your paradoxically absurd assertion that Section 230 preempted something that you linked to after it happened.

            Again, the problem here is your ignorance regarding the legal meaning of “preempt”.

          2. Honestly, you’re like one of those moronic young-Earth creationists who repeatedly push the same stupid argument about evolution violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics with regard to entropy, claiming victory of the poor, dumb scientists, because they (the creationists) are fundamentally ignorant about what that law actually states about the matter…and remain ignorant about it no matter how many times it’s explained to them.

        2. “It is quoted extensively in the OP. You linked to it.”

          Just so we’re all on the same page, the OP is about a bill in Colorado. This subthread concerns DMN asking about a bill in Utah, to which he linked.

          IANAL, but I’m curious what you think this quote from the wikipedia ‘Section 230’ article means in terms of the Utah law DMN is discussing: “There is also no immunity from state laws that are consistent with 230(e)(3) though state criminal laws have been held preempted in cases such as Backpage.com, LLC v. McKenna[10] and Voicenet Communications, Inc. v. Corbett[11] (agreeing that “the plain language of the CDA provides … immunity from inconsistent state criminal laws”).”

          1. Absaroka, thanks for the correction about my wording. I was, in the case of Nieporent’s link, referring to Utah, so my first paragraph mistakenly conflated the two. Still, CO or UT, Section 230 did not, as Nieporent asserts, preempt those bills. They got filed. People are promoting them. That’s the danger I have been predicting—growing political pressure to enact government controls on the press.

            I am not able to offer an opinion on how your Wikipedia quote applies to the Utah law. If the quote is meant to suggest an opinion you have to offer, I would welcome it. Perhaps you think I am overlooking something? Maybe I am.

            1. Ooooops, on second thought, the section 230 premption seems limited to state criminal laws, and this is a civil law. Perhaps DMN can clarify for us.

            2. Still, CO or UT, Section 230 did not, as Nieporent asserts, preempt those bills. They got filed.

              FFS. Instead of constantly looking like an idiot, why not take 10 seconds to actually learn what words mean in the context in which they’re being used?

              https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/preemption

              “Preemption” has absolutely nothing to do with preventing bills from being filed/pursued.

              1. Wuz, when you see a comment from me, you can be certain its context has nothing to do with technical legal interpretations. I stay away from those. Not my field. My contexts are English language contexts, or historical contexts, or policy opinions, or a few other oddball contexts regarding which I have some experience, or have read something by someone better informed than I am.

                In this case, I created the context for the discussion, not Nieporent. It is a context I developed for more than 4 years on these threads. It is an opinion context, about what folks can expect if large numbers of ordinary people act in concert to create political pressures for government censorship of the press—and about the role Section 230 has played in getting too many people aligned to do that.

                That has nothing to do with legal preemption. If Nieporent was indeed—as you claim—trying to wrench the discussion out of my initial context, and substitute his own, that’s on him. I don’t have to go along.

                Nieporent is a smart guy. I am not going to take him on in his own field. When he changes context, or changes the subject, there is no point for me to follow him. He just wants an edge which he can get because no one here can make him be forthright. It’s a blog comment, no rules. All the time, Nieporent says stuff here which I doubt he would ever try to get away with in court. I don’t like that, but I don’t really disrespect Nieporent for doing it.

                You I can disrespect. Despite your fulminations, despite your insults, despite your undaunted stupidity, there is good reason to talk about the context I started with. And no requirement that I change the subject to gratify any notion of yours.

                1. when you see a comment from me, you can be certain its context has nothing to do with technical legal interpretations. I stay away from those.

                  That’s a pretty stupid practice when commenting on a law blog about legal matters. And it’s not a “technical legal interpretation”. It’s the definition of the word when used in the context of a discussion about law…which is what this is.

                  In this case, I created the context for the discussion, not Nieporent.

                  The subject created the context, not you.

                  This and the rest of your rambling bullshit constitutes one of the (perhaps THE) most pathetic attempts at a song-and-dance attempt to avoid acknowledging your own stupidity that I’ve ever witnessed here. And considering your history that’s no small feat. Layering the copious amounts of dishonesty and intellectual cowardice on top of your stupidity wins you the “Disingenuous Asshole” trifecta.

  18. Kerry Donovan is an anti American statist pig, that makes her the perfect self appointed tyrant for her obedient leftist self loathing antiMAGAt Sheeple

    whilst the uniparty RINO GOP sits mute and prevents Coloradans from electing conservatives

    there is a 100% Constitutional remedy for all of these tyrannic govt thugs, every decent Boy Scout knows how to tie the proper knot to deal with a predatory pervert

    I believe the Truest best most expedient remedy is to utilise Our Constitutional solutions granted by Our Founding Fathers, this antiConstitutional govt and its “democratic electorate” are completely illicit and absolutely worthy of eradicating during this most dire and outright seditious assault on Our American Liberty !!!

    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS

  19. These platforms need to be contained as it’s apparent from their designs that they cannot control the spread of any news. Even a small incident, let alone controlling the spread of fake news.
    There are few platforms which do not require constant vetting. As steam, twitch, discord and mixer etc, they also play a role in making gaming experiences wonderful, help people grow and do what they love, but never proposed a way to them to spread the fake news.
    Actually there is a big fault in the stars of Facebook. The CEO looks plainly clueless while commenting on any of his policies that may affirm that will at least try to do something.

  20. These platforms need to be contained as it’s apparent from their designs that they cannot control the spread of any news. Even a small incident, let alone controlling the spread of fake news.
    There are few platforms which do not require constant vetting. As steam, twitch, discord and mixer etc, they also play a role in making gaming experiences wonderful, help people grow and do what they love, but never proposed a way to them to spread the fake news.
    Actually there is a big fault in the stars of Facebook. The CEO looks plainly clueless while commenting on any of his policies that may affirm that will at least try to do something.

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