, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD. A lot of legal discussion about Big Tech derives from section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The misapplication of section 230 by the federal courts opened the door to the algorithmic manipulation, economic exclusion, and social media censorship we now see. 1/
Section 230 legally immunizes any "provider of an interactive computer service" when it "restricts access" as long as the provider acted "in good faith" against content it considers "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable" 2/
This immunity allowed internet platforms to feel comfortable excluding content it considered outside the bounds of First Amendment speech even if it wasn't, but of the kind of speech often outside the bounds of First Amendment protection: obscenity & imminent lawless action. 3/
A rule of statutory interpretation: words in a sentence should be read in conjunction with one another. Hence, the right of a platform to act as a publisher in excluding obscene/fighting words content included the phrase "otherwise objectionable" to mean analogous content. 4/
Courts interpreted section 230 differently: as a political signal from DC to let #BigTech off the hook whenever they could. Thus, courts construe the words "otherwise objectionable" to mean Big Tech could censor for whatever it wanted, nullifying the "good faith" requirement. 5/
This is what @RonColeman & @willchamberlain mean by saying either amended legislation is needed or the courts need to revise their interpretation of section 230 to reinforce original First Amendment-type standards on Big Tech. Such litigation is coming. 6/ humanevents.com/2019/06/07/the…
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