Author Topic: Free speech  (Read 2853 times)

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2020, 04:28:11 PM »
In theory, but fact-checking is a pretty benign area for most organizations.  I have a vague recollection that one of the dedicated fact-checking sites was challenged for a claimed factual error, which they corrected.  Other than that, I can't think of any cases.

After seeing what passes for "fact checking" over the past 10 years, I'm going to say it often is anything but benign.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2020, 04:33:28 PM »
I don't get it. Even if Section 230 gets abolished, what prevents twitter from completely banning Trump and his supporters if they want to, as selectively as they want to?

If 230 gets abolished, doesn't it just incentivize (indeed even force) twitter to exert MORE control over their users, rather than less, since they can be held liable for everything Trump (or anyone else) says?

Exactly.  I don't think this will go the way Trump thinks it will.

No. If 230 goes away, then the editorial decision to lie about what is fact and what isn't can end up in court, and the perp can pay the penalty for the decisions he/she made, instead of skating.

It is a little bit of both. 230 needs to remain available, but it also needs to be revised, but I wouldn't trust what the Democrats would produce, it needs a Republican Congress before I'd trust any attempt to alter it or its going to end up worse than what's there now.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2020, 04:38:53 PM »
Except the case that prompted 230 had nothing to do with that. It was a defamation case.

Read it

230 goes away, and suddenly they have to vet all content.

I'm not sure I understand the connection to Twitter here. 230 seems to be about ISP's and how they are not publishers of content (which is a "duh" statement to make for anyone who knows what an ISP is). Here we're talking about a forum where people post messages. It's not totally unlike a regular forum like Ornery, in that it's a hosted site where people can talk about whatever they like. It's moderated by a corporate team rather than one volunteer, but otherwise it's a differently-tooled message board.

So what does 230 have to do with online forums? An ISP is certainly not a forum as they provide no infrastructure to post content, so I don't see the legal connection. Am I missing something?

It gets down to how you define internet service provider. Yes, the Ornery.org forum has an ISP, but relative to us Ornery is a Service Provider(these forums) on the the Internet, and thus Ornery.org is itself an Internet Service Provider (of a discussion forum)

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2020, 04:47:52 PM »
I won't take the time to read through every single case, but I looked through a bunch of them, and all of them boil down to whether the service or person being sued was a content creator / publisher, or was just reposting or providing access for other people to post things. 230 protects you when you are not a publisher, but you're fair game if you either created the content, or distributed it yourself (which means used it as your own content even if it was written by a third party).

I guess then my next question is - why would removing 230 be a way of stopping Twitter from creating anti-Republican bias? If they are curating content to create a desired result for their readership, that would seem to count as "using third-party content as your own content", effectively reposting things to your own viewer base to reach your own 'people'. The mechanical difference on Twitter is the people come to you, rather than you emailing them a newsletter, but if the effect is that you're creating a curated selection of content for them then it would seem to me that 230 shouldn't apply and they should be fair game. Is the problem that there's already a supreme court precedent saying that they are protected?

Where things break down for Twitter is it becomes hard for them to claim "we custom tailor your feeds for you individually" based on all kinds of obscure heuristics which "have nothing to do with exercising editorial control." And for example, someone of a more moderate position going on The Blaze and doing a segment with Glenn Beck and company, and tweet about it with a link included... Only for none of their followers to report back that they ever saw the tweet cross their activity feed. They saw the other tweets from that day in their feed, but the one linking to The Blaze? It simply "and mysteriously" never turned up, their followers had go to the direct activity feed for the person in question before they could finally see the post in question.

It isn't just Glenn Beck who has experienced mysterious disappearances from the twitter "news feed" of its followers, or the followers of people they speak to. It has happened to basically every conservative voice of significance online, even the moderates.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 04:52:31 PM by TheDeamon »

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2020, 05:03:34 PM »
Facebook, Twitter, and Google(via YouTube) are demonstrating they can in fact exercise near real-time editorial control of their content.
How does Twitter exercise near real-time editorial control over content?

It is a little bit of both. 230 needs to remain available, but it also needs to be revised, but I wouldn't trust what the Democrats would produce, it needs a Republican Congress before I'd trust any attempt to alter it or its going to end up worse than what's there now.
That's interesting - I wonder if roughly 49.8% of the population agrees with you...  I also wonder whether 50.2% think the opposite. There are none so blind as those who will not see...

Seriati

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2020, 05:20:30 PM »
230 protects you when you are not a publisher, but you're fair game if you either created the content, or distributed it yourself (which means used it as your own content even if it was written by a third party).

There's a space in between what you listed there.  230 protects you from liability for other people's illegal content that you host or republish (subject to criminal law still applying).  It also provides protection from civil liability if you remove speech (even Constitutionally protected speech), on a "good faith" basis for a specified list of reasons.  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230

Take a look at the statute, read part (a) the findings and part (b) the policy established by Congress.  You may note the strong language about promoting open political discourse, maximizing the ability of users to restrict content (i.e., parent controls) and their goals around deterring what is effectively criminal conduct by computer. 

Do you see any part of that suggesting their goal is to facilitate censorship of political speech?

The actual protection itself is in (c):  "any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected."  Read in context that's  a list of content that's intended to be pretty specific and part of the kind of things that a parent would want to prevent their child from reading (and that specific use case is mentioned multiple times). 

To get from there to what twitter did you have to read in a "good faith" effort to restrict content based on which standard?  Are you going with "otherwise objectionable"?  That phrase would be interpreted in court to be an expansion of the list, but only to similar content.  That's a rule of interpretation to ensure that something like that doesn't swallow an entire rule.  There's nothing there.  It gets even worse when you consider that "good faith" can't be shown if Trump is the only politician so restricted, or Conservatives but not liberals are restricted for like content.  That's almost the definition of bad faith.

But what does that actually mean?  One thing it doesn't mean is that Twitter can't do it.  They can if they want, but if they do they are operating outside of the express protection provided from civil liablity.  That means those harmed can sue, class action cases can arise based on bad faith on behalf of all impacted users, those who have been banned or shadow banned for reasons that are not in the user agreement may have recourse for lost business.  Consider too all the twitter posts that have called out someone and cost them a job, some of which was based on false information.  Suing the poster was never going to be a big money win, suing Twitter - the deep pocket - on the other hand?  Huge incentive.

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I guess then my next question is - why would removing 230 be a way of stopping Twitter from creating anti-Republican bias?

It's not exactly.  What his order does though isn't to remove it, it's to restrict it to the plain language.  Good faith isn't going to protect view point discrimination, it's there to protect against types of content.

If it's actually workable, the choice of a tech company will be to moderate everyone equally and have to be able to prove they were doing it in good faith and equally at all times to stay under the safe harbor, or to not moderate where they could be perceived as biased.

I think another interesting question is whether this is going to trigger FEC problems.  it's hard  to see Twitter as supporting a candidate if it is open to all, but if it selectively restricts political speech will that hold up?  I have no idea if they can avail themselves of any kind of protection available to free news sources but I think their life is going to get very interesting if they go down this path.

Didn't Republicans generally support the Supreme Court decision "Citizens United v. FEC" which argued that corporations can spend as much money as they want to influence politics?

You should read it sometime, not exactly what it stood for.

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As far as I can tell, if 230 goes away it means twitter/facebook/google/etc, aren't allowed to let lies go unchallenged, which means even stricter fact-checking, and means booting people who regularly lie.

Not exactly.  230 was a safe harbor, there is still background there that absent editorial controls should protect them.  It's interesting but the rule was really based on it not being possible to monitor all content on a site, which is clearly and increasingly not the case.   They've never had to allow anyone to use their service.  Their risks are not from their oversight, their risk specifically comes from allowing anyone and everyone to join and post whatever they want.  Twitter could change it's rules of use tomorrow to specifically disclose that they will moderate content to remove conservative comments and that would be their decision.  What they can't do in "good faith" is lie and say they don't discriminate based on view point and their apply view point discrimination to users.

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Trump's clearly not doing this to enable free speech, as it'll be the very opposite, all media needing to implement stronger controls.

Well I disagree, this is an open shot across the bow of all tech companies that the protections they currently enjoy are there for the reasons that CONGRESS laid out to facilitate diverse and open political expressions and won't survive if they interfere in politics.  Nor should they.  If Twitter wants to be a liberals only service they should announce that policy change (and accept the billions in market cap and ad revenue losses that come with it).

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He's doing it as a weapon to enforce internet companies to be afraid of the government arbitrarily punishing them for whatever anyone among the millions of their users says, and therefore becoming goverment sycophants to make sure they don't get the government angry at them.

Or to require that if you're going to label Trump a liar, you do something about the Schiffs of the world that are constantly lying.  You could also look at the order itself, Section 4 in the directions to the FTC makes crystal clear that the intent of the policy is require that big social media companies stay out of political content discrimination.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-preventing-online-censorship/ 

I tend to agree that if Twitter and Facebook start discriminating against certain political viewpoints they should be held accountable, not because they are not entitled to have a viewpoint, but rather because they lied to every single user about who they were in order to build the market share that let them get to the point where they can have this impact.  Today abandoning FB has a social consequences?  10 years ago if everyone had known they would remove conservative statements just because they disagree with them, or leave liberal statements that are even worse alone, they'd never have the market share they currently have.  They built their platform by lying and they should be held accountable for that. 

Aris Katsaris

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2020, 05:53:20 PM »
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I tend to agree that if Twitter and Facebook start discriminating against certain political viewpoints they should be held accountable, not because they are not entitled to have a viewpoint, but rather because they lied to every single user about who they were in order to build the market share that let them get to the point where they can have this impact.

Does your opposition to them "discriminating against certain political viewpoints" also apply to e.g. if they discriminate against Islamist fundamentalism or against the Chinese Communist Party?

Or are these things something that would be okay for them to discriminate against?

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #57 on: May 29, 2020, 06:03:47 PM »
Does your opposition to them "discriminating against certain political viewpoints" also apply to e.g. if they discriminate against Islamist fundamentalism or against the Chinese Communist Party?

Or are these things something that would be okay for them to discriminate against?

I think the Trump EO on the matter addresses it well, it would be better if Congress itself clarified, but I approve of this particular excerpt giving instruction to the FCC on what their role is on this matter. Thank you Serati for the link:

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(b)  To advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section, all executive departments and agencies should ensure that their application of section 230(c) properly reflects the narrow purpose of the section and take all appropriate actions in this regard.  In addition, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), shall file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify:

(i) the interaction between subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of section 230, in particular to clarify and determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) may also not be able to claim protection under subparagraph (c)(1), which merely states that a provider shall not be treated as a publisher or speaker for making third-party content available and does not address the provider’s responsibility for its own editorial decisions;

(ii)  the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A)  deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B)  taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii)  any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

going to re-quote this part for emphasis:
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(i) the interaction between subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of section 230, in particular to clarify and determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) may also not be able to claim protection under subparagraph (c)(1), which merely states that a provider shall not be treated as a publisher or speaker for making third-party content available and does not address the provider’s responsibility for its own editorial decisions;

Fenring

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #58 on: May 29, 2020, 10:21:26 PM »
230 protects you when you are not a publisher, but you're fair game if you either created the content, or distributed it yourself (which means used it as your own content even if it was written by a third party).

There's a space in between what you listed there.  230 protects you from liability for other people's illegal content that you host or republish (subject to criminal law still applying).  It also provides protection from civil liability if you remove speech (even Constitutionally protected speech), on a "good faith" basis for a specified list of reasons.

Thanks for the link. In my quote above I was talking about being sued specifically for hosting or even linking to someone else's publication. So yeah, I didn't mention the other side of it, which is being sued for moderating content. Not sure if you left it out or whether it's just a 'sandwiched' fact that falls under what you said, but the case examples in the previous link include cases where the person hosting the content is protected against lawsuit for both illegal (as you mention) and legal content as well. One example was a guy linking to an article slandering someone else present, and the decision was that the guy giving the link can't be sued (even though one might infer he was also stating it as his opinion by linking to it) but that it has to be the authors of the article he linked. But another case showed that distributing someone else's article, after having made some edits or alterations, makes you enough of a contributor that you're not protected anymore. I suppose the crucial issue there is that by making the effort to ensure it's curated correctly for your purposes it becomes clearly "your statement" of fact rather than "here's what this other guy says." I bet that the legal line is when you take actions that make it clear you're not just saying what someone else said, but are making it clear that you're saying it too.

That sort of gets us to curation of content. If I curate my site so that opinions I disagree with are not seen, and those I agree with are seen, while I may not be outright editing the comments I'm still taking direct action that relates to my personal views on those posts, effectively making the final content representative of my own view. That should be enough to qualify as editing of content to satisfy being exposed to lawsuit unless I'm missing something important.

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Take a look at the statute, read part (a) the findings and part (b) the policy established by Congress.  You may note the strong language about promoting open political discourse, maximizing the ability of users to restrict content (i.e., parent controls) and their goals around deterring what is effectively criminal conduct by computer. 

Do you see any part of that suggesting their goal is to facilitate censorship of political speech?

No, but I can see the obvious loophole where a moderator could claim to be following the intent of the law. It's pretty clear at this point that there's an increasing social view that dissenting opinions are actually inflammatory and hostile. Now the flavor of this may change between red and blue type people. For example, a typical view I see expressed by far-left people is that conservative views are not just unwelcome in their discussions, but that they are "threatening" and that people "feel unsafe" when exposed to them. So they would no doubt cite (c)-(2)-(A) and tag such conservative posts as harassing, violent, and objectionable. And they would mean it, too, and not just say this as a trick to meet the law while winking. Whereas on the other side I suspect that right-leaning people might well view certain liberal posts as being lascivious, propaganda-ridden, and often obscene (especially in regard to sexual mores), and would perhaps want to moderate that content based on that, also with no intention of 'bad faith' (even though we could perhaps argue that both sets of examples are bad faith in an objective sense, even though both sides are trying to be reasonable in their own way). I mean, how is a judge supposed to rule over a lawsuit where the defendant says he "felt threatened" by a post and removed it, when the judge think that's silly? Is it legitimate to rule on what someone else feels, and to make that binding law?

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The actual protection itself is in (c):  "any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected."  Read in context that's  a list of content that's intended to be pretty specific and part of the kind of things that a parent would want to prevent their child from reading (and that specific use case is mentioned multiple times).

I can see that intent as perhaps being the basis of it, but I can also see other examples. For instance I'm sure a church website is protected from lawsuits for disallowing posts they disagree with on certain themes, even from adults. But is it not the case that the intent of the law ceases to matter to an extent if the drafting of the law was flawed and the language too permissive? I mean, if someone finds 'liberal views' obscene, is it really legitimate to say to them "no, no, I'm pretty sure this was more about parental controls" as a legal judgement?

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If it's actually workable, the choice of a tech company will be to moderate everyone equally and have to be able to prove they were doing it in good faith and equally at all times to stay under the safe harbor, or to not moderate where they could be perceived as biased.

Do you really think it would be feasible to spell out and enumerate the various types of actions, moderation, curation, and filtering that would count as "content creation vis a vis biased presentation"? I am not at all against the idea of this, but can a law really cover all the cases of this? Or would it just result in an avalanche of different lawsuits, each with some minutia or detail different from the next so that no general ruling can apply to them all? 

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #59 on: May 29, 2020, 11:14:06 PM »
I mean, how is a judge supposed to rule over a lawsuit where the defendant says he "felt threatened" by a post and removed it, when the judge think that's silly? Is it legitimate to rule on what someone else feels, and to make that binding law?

Don't go looking at the anti-stalker laws then. They pretty much are exactly that loose, intentionally so in that case for mostly obvious reasons. But it does create potential for some weird legal scenarios to possibly occur. If somebody feels like they're being stalked, then they're being stalked. Even if no stalker actually exists.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #60 on: May 30, 2020, 01:48:00 AM »
If it's actually workable, the choice of a tech company will be to moderate everyone equally and have to be able to prove they were doing it in good faith and equally at all times to stay under the safe harbor, or to not moderate where they could be perceived as biased.

Do you really think it would be feasible to spell out and enumerate the various types of actions, moderation, curation, and filtering that would count as "content creation vis a vis biased presentation"? I am not at all against the idea of this, but can a law really cover all the cases of this? Or would it just result in an avalanche of different lawsuits, each with some minutia or detail different from the next so that no general ruling can apply to them all?

If I'm reading the EO correctly, they can be partisan in their moderation if they wish to be, but they'll be required to be upfront about using partisan moderation criteria.

So Fox News can censor Liberal comments on their news articles, and MSNBC can do to the same for conservative comments.

It is only if they want to claim they are non-partisan that they start getting held to a higher legal standard.

Which of course is the other way he's getting at them. If they come out as being partisan, there are government monies they'll likely start losing because of that.

The previously quoted section relevant to that would be:

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(ii)  the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A)  deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B)  taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii)  any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

Where (B) is basically a furtherance of (A) where if terms of service clearly stipulate such activities are prohibited, then adequate notice was given, and reasoned explanation is "violated ToS/AUP"
« Last Edit: May 30, 2020, 01:56:44 AM by TheDeamon »

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #61 on: May 30, 2020, 02:07:30 AM »
Although I guess his instructions didn't stop there. So Google in particular is on the hook for a bit more:
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Sec. 4.  Federal Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices.  (a)  It is the policy of the United States that large online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the critical means of promoting the free flow of speech and ideas today, should not restrict protected speech.  The Supreme Court has noted that social media sites, as the modern public square, “can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.”  Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1737 (2017).  Communication through these channels has become important for meaningful participation in American democracy, including to petition elected leaders.  These sites are providing an important forum to the public for others to engage in free expression and debate.  Cf. PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 85-89 (1980).

...

(c)  The FTC shall consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, pursuant to section 45 of title 15, United States Code.  Such unfair or deceptive acts or practice may include practices by entities covered by section 230 that restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.

So that's where I came to the conclusion that Fox and MSNBC moderators are safe.

Fenring

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #62 on: May 30, 2020, 04:40:11 AM »
If I'm reading the EO correctly, they can be partisan in their moderation if they wish to be, but they'll be required to be upfront about using partisan moderation criteria.

So Fox News can censor Liberal comments on their news articles, and MSNBC can do to the same for conservative comments.

It is only if they want to claim they are non-partisan that they start getting held to a higher legal standard.

Hm. I've been thinking about this and I'm not sure I agree that this makes sense as following from the law as written. First I'll address what the original law seems to say:

The law as written appears designed to prevent a site or ISP from being sued for content that is really not its own. The original case was about suing an ISP for content users may be transmitting, and the law as stated expands that to cover a site that hosts content that people post there. The point of the law is you can't be sued for someone else's libel just because they posted it on your site. And the case history seems to suggest that this ceases to apply when it starts to be your content, either because you're editing it to suit your needs, or because you are presenting it in a way that portrays it as your own statement of belief. Again, this is about preventing lawsuits towards parties essential not responsible for the presence of the content other than it's on their bandwidth.

So unless there's been an expansion on the interpretation of the law, I don't see why it would apply to parties that are indeed curating or modifying the presentation of the content, whether or not they admit they're doing it. Admitting it doesn't seem relevant to me; the relevant factor is whether it's legitimate to argue that the content represents a public statement made by the defendant. If I public an original or edited piece slamming conservatives, it would seem to me to be irrelevant whether my site's terms of service state that it's an anti-conservative site or not. The point is I'm making a personal statement and I have to own it and the consequences of posting it if there's a potential tort claim. It's not like you can mention in advance "hey this is an anti-conservative site!" and that somehow makes you immune to lawsuits, and this law certainly doesn't look like it's intended to protect people specifically because they're upfront about their bias.

The "good Samaritan" clauses also protect service providers for moderating their site, and the examples listed basically amount to making sure the content "stays clean". So on a regular message board, removing or preventing pornographic posts, extreme swearing, threats, etc etc, is not considered to be the host making editorial statements, and is understood to be a simple public service to avoid the site degenerating into a wasteland. Not one item in that list includes even a hint that being a "good Samaritan" can include removing content you disagree with ideologically. In fact its omission almost guarantees that it's clear that this is not protected activity, nor should it be, since creating editorial bias is clearly making a personal statement which is precisely the case where people need to be able to sue you if you libel or slander them.

Now getting to the EO, all it seems to do as far as I can tell is to specify in more explicit terms what the law already says. Unless I'm making a mistake, I'm not convinced it's actually adding anything new. By specifying certain behaviors that are not protected under 230, the EO would seem to be eliminating the option for someone to go into a court and claim that what they're doing ought to be considered as part of the Good Samaritan list. This removes that option to waste the court's time, and perhaps also prevents some judge altering the intend of the law with a bad ruling.

Now regarding this set of clauses:

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(ii)  the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A)  deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B)  taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii)  any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

It may be significant to note the repeated "or" operators. This ought to mean that *any* of those being present will automatically disqualify protection from lawsuits. So for example, making the site's content curation consistent with their terms of service means that they aren't breaking that particular clause, but they can still be breaking the other clauses. These aren't hidey-holes, they are extra ways you can be liable. So claiming "we're not deceptive!" doesn't ipso facto mean that good faith is assumed. Remember: you can 'honestly' post original content that commits libel, and this is obviously open to lawsuits regardless of whether you're honest about your bias or not. The reason "inconsistent with a provider's terms of service" is included is to cover the case where a site technically tells you how their algorithms work but don't tell you that the numbers have been set to reduce visibility of certain types of content. They can be "honest" on a technical level (i.e. 'you knew we assigned higher values to some content over others'), so the terms of service clause must be to additionally reinforce that semi-transparency is not good enough if the thing they aren't transparent about is that users and their content won't be treated equally. Note the word "particularly" that I bolded above: it means that these are not the only conditions that make something fail to be good faith, but are particularly noteworthy. Another important section is (B), which says that failure to provide notice, a reasoned explanation, or a reasonable chance to be heard also disqualifies you for "good faith" moderation shielding you from lawsuits. Deleting posts without comment would mean you are now editorializing your site. Seeing to it that a post is downvoted or unseen, likewise. Banning or shadowbanning a user without giving them a legitimate hearing also means your editorial control renders the content on your site "yours". Basically any curation *at all* that serves a purpose other than to essentially prevent littering pages with spam means you're making your site in your own image, ergo it's your opinion being stated, ergo you can be sued. And I think that's what the original law says anyhow. 

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #63 on: May 30, 2020, 01:09:27 PM »
...Facebook, Twitter, and Google(via YouTube) are demonstrating they can in fact exercise near real-time editorial control of their content. So it's clear that it no longer is "nearly impossible" for them to achieve this, of course, you need to be a company large enough that you can afford a multi-million dollar R&D team working on machine learning to accomplish it, so most companies of the same type shouldn't be caught up in all of this.

These platforms use filters to search out things that need human intervention. When a word like "assassinate" or (pick a swear word) turns up, the computer tags the post for attention. When these filters are one-sided, the attention is also one-sided. Betcha "Trump" is a favorite filter.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #64 on: May 30, 2020, 01:22:11 PM »
So unless there's been an expansion on the interpretation of the law, I don't see why it would apply to parties that are indeed curating or modifying the presentation of the content, whether or not they admit they're doing it. Admitting it doesn't seem relevant to me; the relevant factor is whether it's legitimate to argue that the content represents a public statement made by the defendant. If I public an original or edited piece slamming conservatives, it would seem to me to be irrelevant whether my site's terms of service state that it's an anti-conservative site or not. The point is I'm making a personal statement and I have to own it and the consequences of posting it if there's a potential tort claim. It's not like you can mention in advance "hey this is an anti-conservative site!" and that somehow makes you immune to lawsuits, and this law certainly doesn't look like it's intended to protect people specifically because they're upfront about their bias.

You previously alluded to this, and I'm going to reiterate, as I think it is legitimately what some of these platforms were using to rationalize their decision making. They had reinterpreted "objectionable," "harassment," "obscene," in such a manner that they could classify anything they disagree with as being such and act against it. So part of the function of the EO was to initiate "a full stop"on people trying to pursue that specific interpretation and force them to take it to court to demonstrate otherwise.

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The "good Samaritan" clauses also protect service providers for moderating their site, and the examples listed basically amount to making sure the content "stays clean". So on a regular message board, removing or preventing pornographic posts, extreme swearing, threats, etc etc, is not considered to be the host making editorial statements, and is understood to be a simple public service to avoid the site degenerating into a wasteland. Not one item in that list includes even a hint that being a "good Samaritan" can include removing content you disagree with ideologically. In fact its omission almost guarantees that it's clear that this is not protected activity, nor should it be, since creating editorial bias is clearly making a personal statement which is precisely the case where people need to be able to sue you if you libel or slander them.

Ah but this is where the TOS meets the "good Samaritan" clause in regards to what kind of environment the hosting service is seeking to foster. If they're trying to foster "a safe environment" for the Gay/Trans community to gather and discuss matters as relevant to them. It would be entirely within reason for them to actively exclude people who openly support the Westboro Baptist Church from being able to engage with that community.

But if you're Google, using algorithms to attempt to actively de-list the WBC from search results in favor of anti-WBC sites, that's crossing a line. Unless Google wants to come forth and announce they've made changes their ToS.

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Now getting to the EO, all it seems to do as far as I can tell is to specify in more explicit terms what the law already says. Unless I'm making a mistake, I'm not convinced it's actually adding anything new. By specifying certain behaviors that are not protected under 230, the EO would seem to be eliminating the option for someone to go into a court and claim that what they're doing ought to be considered as part of the Good Samaritan list. This removes that option to waste the court's time, and perhaps also prevents some judge altering the intend of the law with a bad ruling.

It actually seems to be shifting the burden. Previously, someone who was being wronged by the alternative interpretation would need to prove in court that the service provider violated section 230. Under this EO, the burden now shifts to the service provider in that they now must demonstrate why what they did should be included under section 230, it no longer is a blanket shield for them.

Fenring

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #65 on: May 30, 2020, 02:09:26 PM »
You previously alluded to this, and I'm going to reiterate, as I think it is legitimately what some of these platforms were using to rationalize their decision making. They had reinterpreted "objectionable," "harassment," "obscene," in such a manner that they could classify anything they disagree with as being such and act against it. So part of the function of the EO was to initiate "a full stop"on people trying to pursue that specific interpretation and force them to take it to court to demonstrate otherwise.

I don't know if the EO will alter how the mechanics of pursuing these cases works. The way it seems to have worked before is you sue someone (for defamation, damages, whatever) and the court determines whether they are protected. I don't see how that changes in this case. All it means is that when you're sued you can't even try to claim that you were acting in good faith if you were doing any of these things. But previously it's entirely possible you could have tried to claim it and been told that it doesn't apply. Now you just can't even try. But I don't see it as being an actual change in the application of the law, unless there are some legal technicalities I'm unaware of (which is very likely!).

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Ah but this is where the TOS meets the "good Samaritan" clause in regards to what kind of environment the hosting service is seeking to foster. If they're trying to foster "a safe environment" for the Gay/Trans community to gather and discuss matters as relevant to them. It would be entirely within reason for them to actively exclude people who openly support the Westboro Baptist Church from being able to engage with that community.

But if you're Google, using algorithms to attempt to actively de-list the WBC from search results in favor of anti-WBC sites, that's crossing a line. Unless Google wants to come forth and announce they've made changes their ToS.

Actually I don't think these distinctions should be relevant to either the original law or to the EO. The only question is whether you're open to lawsuit, and the only reason why you wouldn't be is if someone is suing the wrong party. You are protected from being sued if it's not your content. That almost sounds like a "duh" conclusion, and the law is there to explicate that scenario into explicit terms. It doesn't matter what kind of site you're running or what your TOS, you are liable if you say something causing damages to someone. The only defense under this law is "but I didn't say it." And the law species that if you editorialized it that it counts as "yes you did say it." That's all. Your TOS is irrelevant in terms of this. You cannot make yourself immune to lawsuits by stating upfront "I'm going to slander people!" That's just ridiculous. The TOS clause is in the EO because violating your own TOS is an example of bad faith, not because it's the standard to meet to demonstrate good faith. Consistency with your own TOS has nothing to do with demonstrating good faith, it just means you didn't act in bad faith in that particular way. Again, these clauses in the EO are explicating examples of bad faith; they do not define ways to protect yourself from lawsuits.

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Now getting to the EO, all it seems to do as far as I can tell is to specify in more explicit terms what the law already says. Unless I'm making a mistake, I'm not convinced it's actually adding anything new. By specifying certain behaviors that are not protected under 230, the EO would seem to be eliminating the option for someone to go into a court and claim that what they're doing ought to be considered as part of the Good Samaritan list. This removes that option to waste the court's time, and perhaps also prevents some judge altering the intend of the law with a bad ruling.

It actually seems to be shifting the burden. Previously, someone who was being wronged by the alternative interpretation would need to prove in court that the service provider violated section 230. Under this EO, the burden now shifts to the service provider in that they now must demonstrate why what they did should be included under section 230, it no longer is a blanket shield for them.

I don't see what you're saying here. In either case if you're sued for defamation, etc you will need to explain what you did or didn't do. If you think someone is suing you for someone else's content you would have to explain that to the judge either way. I don't see what changes here on that score. The burden is the same: the plaintiff must demonstrate damages, and the judge must then decide whether the defendant is the one liable for those damages in part or in full. This is about assessing liability, not re-organizing who has to argue what. They still need to argue the same types of things, it's just that these "particular" clauses are just now explicitly a dead-end street to be considered immune to lawsuits.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #66 on: May 31, 2020, 08:58:49 PM »
And now for an actual attack on the first amendment by your own government: Twitter: Trump threatens to designate Antifa a terrorist organization

There's something obscenely ironic in a head of state ignoring his own constitution in order to attack a self-styled group of anti-fascists.

NobleHunter

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2020, 09:00:18 PM »
I wonder if anyone has bothered to tell him there's so such organization.

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #68 on: May 31, 2020, 10:18:58 PM »
I have no problem with Antifa being designated a terrorist organization. They certainly behave as one. There doesn't need to be a leadership structure to identify them. They have a website that I don't mind being shut down.

example article

Here's the article title.

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Editorial From CrimethInc. On The Context Of The Unfolding Rebellion In So-Called Minneapolis In The Wake Of The Police Killing For George Floyd.

The Black Bloc anarchists are throwing molotov cocktails. How long will it be until they start planting pipe bombs?
They are a group of loosely affiliated people who advocate the violent overthrow of the government.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #69 on: May 31, 2020, 10:45:03 PM »
I have no problem with Antifa being designated a terrorist organization. They certainly behave as one. There doesn't need to be a leadership structure to identify them. They have a website that I don't mind being shut down.
If you accept this, then the only thing that links these people is a set of ideas.

And it's pretty clear that political belief and speech is protected constitutionally.  That is not to say some of the actions of people claiming affiliation to Antifa cannot be prosecuted, and even designated as hate crimes.  But making 'membership', which in this case is nothing more than sympathetic agreement with the movement, illegal is making a particular type of political speech illegal.

Have you ever wondered why the KKK has not been designated a terrorist group?  The same reasons, almost all of them, apply to 'the KKK' as to 'Antfia'.  And members of KKK groups have killed thousands of people in the past, whereas Antifa members as part of mobs or riots have killed exactly zero.

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2020, 10:54:18 PM »
I wonder if anyone has bothered to tell him there's so such organization.

Who told you that? There is a group that calls itself Antifa - although they are themselves the fascists they say they oppose. To be specific and more nuanced, there are a coterie of activists who are hired by Left-wing groups and backers (Soros and the DNC come to mind). They spring up at pre-arranged protest sites and after calling for willing cannon fodder over social media, agitate and incite these fools into riots. Many reporters have noted the "obvious agitators: mostly white, masked young men wearing black with backpacks" who pile up the wooden crates, set fires, throw Molotov cocktails, then disappear into the crowd to let the clueless take all the heat. Reporters said they appear to be Antifa, even wearing the "uniform." These same agitators appear at Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street protests, so they may not only be Antifa. Professional anarchists one and all.

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2020, 11:09:35 PM »
...Have you ever wondered why the KKK has not been designated a terrorist group?  The same reasons, almost all of them, apply to 'the KKK' as to 'Antfia'.  And members of KKK groups have killed thousands of people in the past, whereas Antifa members as part of mobs or riots have killed exactly zero.

The term "Terrorists" is a fairly new thing. We knew what the KKK was, and fought against it. It was the military arm of the Democrat Party, and was almost totally expunged. Mad Magazine had a poem:

"Sind a song of Bigots
A pocketful of clowns,
Four and twenty Klansmen,
Wearing hoods and gowns,
When Congress started probing,
The Klan began to sing.
Wasn't that a tasty dish
For Martin Luthor King?"

It was no longer an issue until Woodrow Wilson brought it back. Remember the 1924 Democrat party Klanbake, and the march at the convention?

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #72 on: May 31, 2020, 11:25:03 PM »
I have no problem with Antifa being designated a terrorist organization. They certainly behave as one. There doesn't need to be a leadership structure to identify them. They have a website that I don't mind being shut down.
If you accept this, then the only thing that links these people is a set of ideas.

And it's pretty clear that political belief and speech is protected constitutionally.  That is not to say some of the actions of people claiming affiliation to Antifa cannot be prosecuted, and even designated as hate crimes.  But making 'membership', which in this case is nothing more than sympathetic agreement with the movement, illegal is making a particular type of political speech illegal.

Have you ever wondered why the KKK has not been designated a terrorist group?  The same reasons, almost all of them, apply to 'the KKK' as to 'Antfia'.  And members of KKK groups have killed thousands of people in the past, whereas Antifa members as part of mobs or riots have killed exactly zero.

Sure, you'd like to separate violent anarchists from non-violent ones. And that can be difficult, just like it was hard to separate out Sinn Fein from the IRA. The violent and non-violent arms of rebellion are generally so symbiotic and intertwined that they are practically one entity.

I'm not going to indulge the KKK whataboutism. We could talk separately about whether they deserve such a designation, but that isn't germane to whether Antifa deserves it.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2020, 12:15:01 AM »
Have you ever wondered why the KKK has not been designated a terrorist group?  The same reasons, almost all of them, apply to 'the KKK' as to 'Antfia'.  And members of KKK groups have killed thousands of people in the past, whereas Antifa members as part of mobs or riots have killed exactly zero.

By the time the classification of "domestic terrorist organization" existed in the United States, "the Klan" had already stopped its violent operations. (Or at least, any that can be traced back to them)

There are a number of other white supremacist organizations that have managed to (briefly) make the list over the following years. So it isn't unheard of. But as it stands, the KKK itself isn't one of the organizations that seems to be doing anything to actually cause mayhem by taking offensive action. The closest they'd get recently would be their marches where they might hope somebody would attack them so they could legally justify a response back in kind.

Meanwhile, the Anti-Fa groups that are out there in the wilds of the internet are an entirely different ballgame, but as mentioned, that too has a problem as Anti-Fa appears to have developed two different "wings" much like the IRA did, so you have the political wing, which the Democrats can cuddle with and make nice with because they're "civic minded people doing charity work" like making face masks in Portland for preventing the spread of Covid19 (LOL, sure that's what the masks are for) Meanwhile they have a violent activist arm that makes like Hitler's Brownshirts who go about smashing anyone or anything which disagrees with their politics when given the chance.

Kasandra

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2020, 10:55:26 AM »
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Meanwhile, the Anti-Fa groups that are out there in the wilds of the internet are an entirely different ballgame, but as mentioned, that too has a problem as Anti-Fa appears to have developed two different "wings" much like the IRA did, so you have the political wing, which the Democrats can cuddle with and make nice with because they're "civic minded people doing charity work" like making face masks in Portland for preventing the spread of Covid19 (LOL, sure that's what the masks are for) Meanwhile they have a violent activist arm that makes like Hitler's Brownshirts who go about smashing anyone or anything which disagrees with their politics when given the chance.

For the uninformed, can you point to specific acts of violence that can be traced directly to antifa cells?  When I google "antifa claims violence" everything that comes up is from other people (mainly hints from government representatives and claims by conservative outlets) pointing fingers at the group.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2020, 11:39:47 AM »
Going back to my KKK remark, the point I was trying to make is that, just like the white supremacist movement, Antifa is a movement or ideology.  It is not 'a' group, and especially not a hierarchical, unitary group.

At best you could say that the Antifa movement comprises a large number of independent, or at the very least, autonomous, groups, much in the way that the white supremacist (some prefer 'nationalist') movement in the USA comprises a large number of autonomous groups (including 50-odd KKK groups.)

Trying to label the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization is to try to make an ideology or political position illegal.  It is clearly antithetical to the first amendment.

And for comparison purposes, the white supremacist movement is responsible for more deaths, domestically, than any other political movement since 9/11.

Fenring

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2020, 11:59:59 AM »
Trying to label the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization is to try to make an ideology or political position illegal.  It is clearly antithetical to the first amendment.

As much as I tend to agree with you, it is currently FBI practice to label various homegrown groups as, at minimum, terror threats. The list included constitutionalists the last time I saw it, when it was revised under Obama's admin. But I'm not sure if that list is tantamount to calling them terrorists, and I agree that labeling a group "a terrorist organization" that isn't even an actual group doesn't seem to make much sense.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2020, 12:04:59 PM »
No argument there - that's the FBI's job.  But identifying threats is not to outlaw political speech, which is what outlawing Antifa comes down to.

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #78 on: June 01, 2020, 12:43:34 PM »
Going back to my KKK remark, the point I was trying to make is that, just like the white supremacist movement, Antifa is a movement or ideology.  It is not 'a' group, and especially not a hierarchical, unitary group.

At best you could say that the Antifa movement comprises a large number of independent, or at the very least, autonomous, groups, much in the way that the white supremacist (some prefer 'nationalist') movement in the USA comprises a large number of autonomous groups (including 50-odd KKK groups.)

Trying to label the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization is to try to make an ideology or political position illegal.  It is clearly antithetical to the first amendment.

First, don't allow the coterie of activist agitators paid for by Soros and other Left-wing supporters any legitimacy by saying they are a part of any group except themselves. They have been photographed in different cities at different protests within different groups. The groups, themselves, appear mostly to be cannon-fodder that these agitators can call together for protests at the drop of a hat. It's easy to lump them with Antifa, because of the ubiquitous "uniform". They will always wear masks, but sometimes their ears are uncovered, and ears are as distinguishing as fingerprints.

Secondly, there are groups such as the Communist Revolution group that want to tear down the country as it is, and then grab control of its parts in the aftermath. Reporters noticed those wearing their T-shirts during the riots. Bernie has web sites about the "Revolution", and Dems are happy to tear down anything they don't own.

...And for comparison purposes, the white supremacist movement is responsible for more deaths, domestically, than any other political movement since 9/11.

Interesting assertion, but hardy established fact. Since axe-handle wielding bigots like George Wallace, are usually Democrats - why exclude them from the Leftist bigots? Read: https://www.nationalreview.com/2015/06/democratic-party-racist-history-mona-charen/ for the history not taught in schools. The KKK is a Left-wing white supremacists organization. Right-wing doesn't factor into most data points. Recall also that Nazis are Left-wing also. Your use of "White Supremacists" is an obvious accusation that the "other side" is just as bad, when it is not the other side at all, just more of the same.

Isn't it obvious that much of the current protests are driven by Democrat opportunists looking to hurt the nation to somehow get at Trump? Why else are people like De Blasio's daughter caught up in it? The positive crowds surrounding businesses to protect them from looters chant, "USA. USA, USA". They understand what it is all about.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #79 on: June 01, 2020, 01:00:27 PM »
The KKK is a Left-wing white supremacists organization. Right-wing doesn't factor into most data points. Recall also that Nazis are Left-wing also. Your use of "White Supremacists" is an obvious accusation that the "other side" is just as bad, when it is not the other side at all, just more of the same.

You're supposed to ignore the part where almost every White Supremacy group out there talks about Nationalizing(socializing) every business owned by an dis-favored class of person, and how they're going to create a socialist utopia for their favored types of people.

You're only supposed to pay attention to the fact that they're pro-freedom of speech right now(Conservative position), and pro-gun for now(conservative position), and often make allusion to returning to the way things were in times of the past(I guess, kind of conservative?).

You're supposed to ignore anything Stalin had to say about being for the right to bear arms until your group is in control. Freedom of the press until your group is in control, etc.

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #80 on: June 01, 2020, 01:33:39 PM »
Twitter just banned an account called Antifa America for threating to go to the suburbs and take what's ours. Meanwhile thousands of conservatives are advocating shooting rioters, including Trump. Tell me again how twitter is all about silencing conservatives. For what it's worth, I agree with the ban.

TheDeamon

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #81 on: June 01, 2020, 01:40:14 PM »
Twitter just banned an account called Antifa America for threating to go to the suburbs and take what's ours. Meanwhile thousands of conservatives are advocating shooting rioters, including Trump. Tell me again how twitter is all about silencing conservatives. For what it's worth, I agree with the ban.

One is an offensive act, you have to seek it out. Which is clearly against their TOS.

Most of the rhetoric re: "shooting rioters" (or more specifically would be looters) is more likely a defensive act. Or in The Boogaloo parlance "Rooftop Koreans" in reference to the Rodney King riots and some Korean Shop owners shooting at rioters that tried to approach their store.

Seriati

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #82 on: June 01, 2020, 04:37:05 PM »
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I tend to agree that if Twitter and Facebook start discriminating against certain political viewpoints they should be held accountable, not because they are not entitled to have a viewpoint, but rather because they lied to every single user about who they were in order to build the market share that let them get to the point where they can have this impact.

Does your opposition to them "discriminating against certain political viewpoints" also apply to e.g. if they discriminate against Islamist fundamentalism or against the Chinese Communist Party?

Depends on what you mean.  Do you mean they engage in discrimination against Muslim view points that support fundamentalism?  But not against any other philosophy of Islam nor against any branches of other religions that espouse similar views?  Then yes, they should not be eligible for the protections of Section 230 (at least in that context).

Or do you mean that they engage in discrimination against support for terrorism by Islamists, but leave up say posts encouraging the IRA to actively blow things up?  Honestly, all that content should be pulled.  I would not hold  them liable if they imperfectly pulled it down, absent a finding that they specifically discriminated.  In that case, they may be facing criminal liability though not civil.

As for the Chinese Communist Party, are you suggesting that they are pulling down information because it's propaganda?  Or because it's Chinese?  It's hard to see how they  would ever be able to discriminate against all pro-Chinese posts and not be outside the safe harbor today.  Pulling all propaganda (or trying to) is specifically protected.

I think it's key to remember, nothing required ANY of the them to agree to host a broad and open forum.  They made that choice deliberately.  They could have chose to be a forum that's only for talking smack about the Chinese government and not faced any legal liability.  Or they could have been that same forum and been in trouble based upon what their permitted users posted.  It's when they profess openness and that they are NOT restricting content that they become entitled to protection from the consequences of their user's content.

Do you not see that there is an interplay here between being open and entitled to this special protection and not being open and not entitled to this special protection?

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Or are these things something that would be okay for them to discriminate against?

Okay in what way?  Anyone who wants to do so can discriminate in any private way they want.  You can be hateful in your public speech.  The KKK can open forums and publish materials, its a fundamental right.

Again though, if you are claiming protection from the consequences of what you are publishing based on a rule that is applicable specifically because you are not moderating or curating it, the fact that you engage in view point curation should eliminate your specific ability to rely on that rule.

End of day, these cases are still going to be nearly impossible for plaintiffs to win.  The difference is that it opens the tech companies up to lawfare activists because rather than getting a summary judgement, more of these cases will go to discovery and even to settlement.  Financially, this has the potential to be a major difference.

I mean consider CNN and their settlement with Nick Sandmann.  We don't know the amount, but I doubt it was anywhere near the $250m he sued for.  It's incredibly unlikely that CNN would have lost that case given the background law, so why did they settle what may be the equivalent of a nuisance claim?  Because the risk it was going to get past summary judgement was real, the kid was the perfect plaintiff to push that case, and if it gets past summary judgment it opens the door for many many others to get in too.  CNN would rather eat a settlement that makes his claim look plausible than establish any precedent in any court that makes all similar claims plausible. 

Plus, if it had gotten past summary judgement the door to discovery would have swung open and CNN would have found itself in a world of hurt.  Even if you assume no bad faith or incompetence, CNN would have had to die on the hill of press freedoms and refuse to turn information over.  If the court's inclined - which plaintiffs always do their best to file with a court that is inclined - they can hold that refusal to provide information as evidence admissable in court that the information would be damaging to CNN's defense and effectively assume a level of guilt.

I listed that out as an analogy to why this threat is so great, even if it's extremely unlikely that much of anyone wins a case for years.

Kasandra

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #83 on: June 02, 2020, 11:24:51 AM »
Twitter just banned an account called Antifa America for threating to go to the suburbs and take what's ours. Meanwhile thousands of conservatives are advocating shooting rioters, including Trump. Tell me again how twitter is all about silencing conservatives. For what it's worth, I agree with the ban.

This was a fake account and post by a white nationalist group. It's obvious that there are efforts to stir up far right anti-left actions.

rightleft22

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #84 on: June 02, 2020, 11:56:04 AM »
Twitter just banned an account called Antifa America for threating to go to the suburbs and take what's ours. Meanwhile thousands of conservatives are advocating shooting rioters, including Trump. Tell me again how twitter is all about silencing conservatives. For what it's worth, I agree with the ban.

This was a fake account and post by a white nationalist group. It's obvious that there are efforts to stir up far right anti-left actions.

That is very troubling social/white

The apparent targeting of media by the police during the protests should also be a concern to everyone concerned with free speech.
When leadership paints the media as any enemy of the people one wonders if the police are embolden to reinterpret what it means to serve and protect.
The power this administration is attempting to place into the hands of a few is very troubling.

DJQuag

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #85 on: June 03, 2020, 11:00:30 AM »
Twitter just banned an account called Antifa America for threating to go to the suburbs and take what's ours. Meanwhile thousands of conservatives are advocating shooting rioters, including Trump. Tell me again how twitter is all about silencing conservatives. For what it's worth, I agree with the ban.

This was a fake account and post by a white nationalist group. It's obvious that there are efforts to stir up far right anti-left actions.

That is very troubling social/white

The apparent targeting of media by the police during the protests should also be a concern to everyone concerned with free speech.
When leadership paints the media as any enemy of the people one wonders if the police are embolden to reinterpret what it means to serve and protect.
The power this administration is attempting to place into the hands of a few is very troubling.

Honestly? I kind of feel that the police who are being ordered from on high to march out there and quell the protests are having a really bad week.

I think their treatment of journalists is yet another strike against police culture, and it certainly should not be excused or ignored, but police are people, they're not robots. I find it helpful to put myself in their shoes and wonder just what would make me act like such an *censored*. And if there is something to be done to remove that influence on them.

Kasandra

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #86 on: June 03, 2020, 11:44:12 AM »
WaPo:

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that he does not support the use of active-duty military forces in quelling countrywide unrest — a statement that puts him at odds with President Trump, who has threatened to send troops into U.S. cities.

Trump’s warning, in response to waves of protest over the police killing of George Floyd, would require the invocation of the Insurrection Act to give members of the military the power to arrest. Esper said the measure should be used only as a "last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.”

“We are not in one of those situations now," he said. "I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #87 on: June 03, 2020, 12:07:37 PM »
Uh oh, somebody's not going to be SecDef much longer.

Crunch

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #88 on: June 03, 2020, 12:10:27 PM »
Nor should he.

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #89 on: June 03, 2020, 12:32:24 PM »
How dare the Secretary of Defense talk about the use of our armed forces? Anything but blind obedience to the Orange God is treason! smh.

rightleft22

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #90 on: June 03, 2020, 12:42:38 PM »
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Honestly? I kind of feel that the police who are being ordered from on high to march out there and quell the protests are having a really bad week.

I think their treatment of journalists is yet another strike against police culture, and it certainly should not be excused or ignored, but police are people, they're not robots. I find it helpful to put myself in their shoes and wonder just what would make me act like such an *censored*. And if there is something to be done to remove that influence on them.

I try to do the same. When I was in the military I became aware of how 'group think/action' was influencing my actions. When your with 'the boys' stupid doesn't always look like stupid and how your perspective can get skewed.

I imagine this happening in the police culture and understand how easy its to get caught in it, however training should address that and cops held accountable when they fail in that regard or nothing is going to change. The cops targeting media should be disciplined no matter how much I understand why the might go after them.

Crunch

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #91 on: June 03, 2020, 12:50:29 PM »
How dare the Secretary of Defense talk about the use of our armed forces? Anything but blind obedience to the Orange God is treason! smh.

Who does the SecDef report to? Should SecDef and, by extension, the military be in the business of openly opposing the CinC? Obviously not.

SecDef can disagree all he wants, he can get into shouting matches with Trump over the policy, scream and rage if he likes. That's ok as long as he does it behind closed doors. Once the policy is set by the President, SecDef should support it to the best of his ability or he should resign. That's the way it works in the big leagues when the adults are running things.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #92 on: June 03, 2020, 12:53:29 PM »
When I was in the military I became aware of how 'group think/action' was influencing my actions. When your with 'the boys' stupid doesn't always look like stupid and how your perspective can get skewed.

I imagine this happening in the police culture and understand how easy its to get caught in it, however training should address that and cops held accountable when they fail in that regard or nothing is going to change. The cops targeting media should be disciplined no matter how much I understand why the might go after them.
I find this point interesting, because it affects all sides in the current environment - the police, the demonstrators, the "organically-violent" mob, heck even the journalists and onlookers, to certain degrees.  An additional problem arrises when people don't recognize this dynamic, or only selectively acknowledge it.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #93 on: June 03, 2020, 12:58:20 PM »
SecDef can disagree all he wants, he can get into shouting matches with Trump over the policy, scream and rage if he likes. That's ok as long as he does it behind closed doors. Once the policy is set by the President, SecDef should support it to the best of his ability or he should resign. That's the way it works in the big leagues when the adults are running things.
Has any policy been set, though?  Specifically, is there a policy to send military troops into cities, or was that just a trial balloon?  That's a problem with having a president who can't control his stream of consciousness communication methods.

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #94 on: June 03, 2020, 01:02:38 PM »
When I was in the military I became aware of how 'group think/action' was influencing my actions. When your with 'the boys' stupid doesn't always look like stupid and how your perspective can get skewed.

I imagine this happening in the police culture and understand how easy its to get caught in it, however training should address that and cops held accountable when they fail in that regard or nothing is going to change. The cops targeting media should be disciplined no matter how much I understand why the might go after them.
I find this point interesting, because it affects all sides in the current environment - the police, the demonstrators, the "organically-violent" mob, heck even the journalists and onlookers, to certain degrees.  An additional problem arrises when people don't recognize this dynamic, or only selectively acknowledge it.

Sure. The military paradigm is to follow orders, because the pointy end of the stick is not aware of all the info that went into making those orders. However; the earlier posts about the Nuremberg Trials are also pertinent. No soldier is allowed to follow orders they know to be illegal. One of the oldest rules is that no officer should give orders he knows will not be followed.

DonaldD

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #95 on: June 03, 2020, 01:14:48 PM »
When I was in the military I became aware of how 'group think/action' was influencing my actions. When your with 'the boys' stupid doesn't always look like stupid and how your perspective can get skewed.

I imagine this happening in the police culture and understand how easy its to get caught in it, however training should address that and cops held accountable when they fail in that regard or nothing is going to change. The cops targeting media should be disciplined no matter how much I understand why the might go after them.
I find this point interesting, because it affects all sides in the current environment - the police, the demonstrators, the "organically-violent" mob, heck even the journalists and onlookers, to certain degrees.  An additional problem arrises when people don't recognize this dynamic, or only selectively acknowledge it.

Sure. The military paradigm is to follow orders, because the pointy end of the stick is not aware of all the info that went into making those orders. However; the earlier posts about the Nuremberg Trials are also pertinent. No soldier is allowed to follow orders they know to be illegal. One of the oldest rules is that no officer should give orders he knows will not be followed.
Your response has nothing whatsoever to do with what rightleft22 was taking about.  It's a complete non sequitur.

Fenring

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #96 on: June 03, 2020, 01:19:14 PM »
Sure. The military paradigm is to follow orders, because the pointy end of the stick is not aware of all the info that went into making those orders. However; the earlier posts about the Nuremberg Trials are also pertinent. No soldier is allowed to follow orders they know to be illegal. One of the oldest rules is that no officer should give orders he knows will not be followed.
Your response has nothing whatsoever to do with what rightleft22 was taking about.  It's a complete non sequitur.

I think wmLambert is saying that a military situation is an example of a potential mob mentality situation, but where you are still expected to retain personal responsibility for assessing your actions as your own choice. The default is go along with it, but that shouldn't be done blindly. The same would presumably be true of a mob situation in a riot or among police. Or at least, that's what I think he's saying.

The relevant issue here is that many people want to give up their responsibility, i.e. to not "be the one doing it". It's us, not me. So in the case of a riot you may well have people actually enthused in a sense that they no longer have to think for themselves, which is the opposite of the soldier's problem of potentially doing things you don't like at all but are told to follow orders.

wmLambert

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #97 on: June 03, 2020, 01:25:13 PM »
...Your response has nothing whatsoever to do with what rightleft22 was taking about.  It's a complete non sequitur.

Please go back to school and learn what non sequitur means. Throwing out erudite-sounding terms to cover hissy-fits doesn't work. At least read what Fenring posted.

TheDrake

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #98 on: June 03, 2020, 01:28:03 PM »
wm's comment definitely seemed relevant and a natural extension of the discussion to me.

Crunch

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Re: Free speech
« Reply #99 on: June 03, 2020, 01:33:56 PM »
SecDef can disagree all he wants, he can get into shouting matches with Trump over the policy, scream and rage if he likes. That's ok as long as he does it behind closed doors. Once the policy is set by the President, SecDef should support it to the best of his ability or he should resign. That's the way it works in the big leagues when the adults are running things.
Has any policy been set, though?  Specifically, is there a policy to send military troops into cities, or was that just a trial balloon?  That's a problem with having a president who can't control his stream of consciousness communication methods.

Is it only set when the president shouts, "I am setting a policy!"?