Anyone sane wants to see less of the kind of content that led to the storming of the Capitol

#Section230 may be unsatisfying but it plays a vital role: protecting sites’ 1A right to take down content gov't can’t ban, eg misinformation & (most) incitement…
The storming of the Capitol should make clear once and for all why all major tech services ban hate speech, misinformation and talk of violence: Words can have serious consequences — in this case, five deaths (plus a Capitol officer’s suicide days later).
The MAGA crowd is crying "censorship," conveniently forgetting (or more likely disingenuously abandoning) all of the First Amendment and free market arguments it has wielded in the past against people who they don't agree with
Calls for a “fairness doctrine” for the Internet are a total about-face from the right's battles *against* the Fairness Doctrine (for broadcasting) & ignore the reality that the Court has rejected fairness-based compelled content regs in non-broadcast media—including the Internet
What MAGAs really want is a First Amendment right to speak on someone else's property; forcing companies to both associate with them and carry their speech—the very things they decried as a First Amendment violation when a baker didn't want to bake a gay wedding cake.
In service of their attempts to fool people into thinking that their First Amendment rights are at risk, MAGAs dishonestly co-opt First Amendment language, calling social media things like "the new public square"
They claim that because social media plays an outsized role in public discourse, that the First Amendment should *prevent* them, like gov’t agencies, from banning abhorrent speech, instead of *protecting* their right to do so

Justice Kavanaugh rejected such arguments in 2019
MAGAs blame #Section230 for “censorship.” But they fail to acknowledge that social media sites would have a First Amendment right to do these things even without 230—which makes it all the more clear that they just want to punish Twitter for its own editorial choices
When sites are sued for banning users or removing content, 230 merely ensures that courts will quickly dismiss lawsuits that would have been dismissed anyway on First Amendment grounds, preventing vexatious litigants from being able to run up the bill on frivolous suits.
Given the huge number of bogus lawsuits that might be brought over virtually limitless content, websites could be deterred from trying to moderate content altogether. It’s not just websites that would suffer; it’s their most vulnerable users — and our overall discourse
And that’s what MAGAs are trying to do: force websites to broadcast their speech, no matter how noxious. That’s why they’ve proposed ending 230’s liability shield for moderation of hate speech, misinformation, conspiracy theories, voter suppression, etc…
The First Amendment protects false speech—with only narrow exceptions—and makes it very difficult to prosecute incitement, even as outrageous as Trump’s

But social media sites have a First Amendment right to take down such speech & ban him for it

#Section230 protects that right
That’s why #Section230 is so vital. It enables private website operators to do what the First Amendment says the government may not: at least try to clean up the Internet

Yes, we should pressure websites to do more, but without 230, that won’t work

So we need 230 more than ever
For more on #Section230, read my latest op-ed in Protocol:…

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More from @BerinSzoka

12 Jan
A tiny Idaho ISP has blocked Facebook & Twitter, citing complaints from its subscribers about their "censorship" of conservatives

At last we can see that the #NetNeutrality wouldn't have banned such blocking IF it were properly disclosed to consumers

Because the First Amendment
First, let's stipulate that what the ISP is doing is galaxy-brain-level insane

And let's note that they are about as fringey, as it gets, only serving a few rural communities with mostly wireless service

Their subscribers are some of the Trumpiest people in country

So this doesn't tell us anything about what the ISPs that serve nearly everyone will do Image
Read 19 tweets
12 Jan
Awarding electoral college votes on a winner-take-all basis by gerrymandered Congressional district may be even worse than doing it by entire state

If we're going to keep the Electoral College, votes should be awarded proportionally within each state for ALL states
Note that proportional electoral college vote allocation would make it more likely that no party would have 270 electoral votes, in which we'd see coalitions form, as in every other democracy, with small parties to get over 270
It would also be wise to change the crazy way the House decides elections (one vote for each state Congressional delegation), but EV coalitions would likely avoid elections going to the House unless...
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
#Parler can't use #antitrust to sue against "political animus" because the First Amendment protects Twitter & Amazon's right to refuse to carry abhorrent content

Parler's lawsuit will be dismissed for failing to allege that AWS & Twitter conspired to suppress competition

🧵 Image
Under clear Supreme Court precedent, Parler would have to prove that Amazon shut off service for non-political reasons

Parler & AWS don't compete. To show that AWS blocked Parler for anticompetitive reasons, Parler must show that AWS conspired with Twitter against Parler. Image
Instead, Parler complains that AWS was inconsistent in enforcing its Acceptable Use Policy, which reserves broad discretion to remove "harmful" or "offensive" or "otherwise objectionable" content Image
Read 11 tweets
7 Dec 20
I've been wondering: Why rush Simington onto the FCC (with just 5 months of telecom experience) if Pai doesn't have time to vote out a #Section230 order anyway?

I now think the FCC could, and likely will, vote out an order without further comment on January 13

Here's why...
Even most telecom lawyers assume FCC actions fall into two buckets:

1) rulemakings follow NPRMs and public comment and aren't final until published in the Federal Register

There isn't time for an NPRM/comments and the Biden FCC could block publication in the FedReg anyway
2) Declaratory orders can resolve adjudicatory disputes, but are only binding on the parties to the proceeding, which won't do what the Administration (NTIA) has asked the FCC to do here

But there's actually a third category that the FCC does have time to use here...
Read 23 tweets
17 Nov 20
Can't wait to hear @LindseyGrahamSC, the guy who urged Georgia's Secretary of State to throw out Democratic votes, accuse #BigTech of trying to steal the election 🤣

Watch this thread for more debunking of GOP nonsense about free speech and #Section230
"I don't want the government to have the power to decide what content stays up"

No, he just wants to amend #Section230 to enable, especially, for Republican hack state AGs to sue websites for removing hate speech, misinformation, voter suppression, etc
Content moderation involves difficult trade-offs that we think are better resolved through the democratic process
- Mark Zuckerberg

Um, no, the First Amendment bars the government from making decisions about online speech

No, you can't just "leave it up to Congress"
Read 39 tweets
19 Feb 20
1/ What might AG #BillBarr say at tomorrow's DOJ workshop on “#Section230—Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability?"

Expect him to call for banning strong #encryption, as he did last July—but this time, via amending 230 and focused on "protecting the children"
2/ The whole point of the half-day workshop appears to be for Barr to make the case for a bill DOJ has no doubt helped @LindseyGrahamSC & @SenBlumenthal draft—that would empower a commission (stacked with DOJ allies) to effectively ban encryption

My take:…
3/ Last July, Barr gave a LONG speech denouncing encryption…
Read 85 tweets

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