Battle for Section 230 - The Situation Monitoring Thread for Monitoring the Situation of the Situation Monitor's Situation Monitoring

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Terrifik

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Social justice groups warn Biden against throwing out Section 230
‘Section 230 is a foundational law for free expression and human rights’

By Adi Robertson@thedextriarchy Jan 27, 2021, 6:00am EST
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A group of 75 activist groups and nonprofits have urged against sweeping changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, warning that it could silence marginalized communities while making online moderation harder.

“Section 230 is a foundational law for free expression and human rights when it comes to digital speech,” the letter says. The law protects websites and apps from being sued over user-generated content — making it safer to operate social networks, comment sections, or hosting services. “Overly broad changes to Section 230 could disproportionately harm and silence marginalized people, whose voices have been historically ignored by mainstream press outlets.”

The letter is signed by a variety of groups supporting racial justice, sex workers’ rights, and free speech online — including the Wikimedia Foundation, Fight for the Future, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project. It’s addressed to Congress and the administration of President Joe Biden, both of which have shown an appetite for changing Section 230.


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SECTION 230
All the threats to the internet’s most important legal protection — updated regularly.

To demonstrate the potential harm of major changes, the authors point to FOSTA-SESTA, a 2018 rule that removed legal protections for hosting prostitution-related content. “The impacts of this law were immediate and destructive, limiting the accounts of sex workers and making it more difficult to find and help those who were being trafficked online,” they write. They’re calling to pass a 2019 proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who called for a study of how the law impacted sex workers. At least one independent survey, performed by the signatory Hacking//Hustling, found a negative effect on many participants’ safety and financial stability.

The letter also notes that Section 230 lets companies remove objectionable posts without fear of lawsuits from disgruntled users. Amazon, for instance, invoked it to defend suspending the social network Parler over violent threats. “Congress should act to address the harms of Big Tech through meaningful legislative action on data privacy, civil rights and others fronts, and enforcement of existing antitrust laws. But uncareful efforts to poke holes in Section 230 could result in the exact opposite outcome,” write the authors.

The Trump administration pushed to rewrite Section 230, aiming to discourage social media sites from removing or fact-checking former President Donald Trump’s posts as well as other conservative content. Several Republican lawmakers backed similar changes. The incoming Biden administration also appears critical of Section 230, but on opposite grounds since Biden has claimed the law allows companies like Facebook to host false information. (The First Amendment protects many false statements.) Gina Raimondo, Biden’s nominee for Commerce Department secretary, expressed support yesterday for changing the law.
 

cypocraphy

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View attachment 1890627
Social justice groups warn Biden against throwing out Section 230
‘Section 230 is a foundational law for free expression and human rights’

By Adi Robertson@thedextriarchy Jan 27, 2021, 6:00am EST
Share this story
Share this on Facebook (opens in new window)
Share this on Twitter (opens in new window)
SHARE
All sharing options
US-POLITICS-HEALTH-BIDEN
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
A group of 75 activist groups and nonprofits have urged against sweeping changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, warning that it could silence marginalized communities while making online moderation harder.

“Section 230 is a foundational law for free expression and human rights when it comes to digital speech,” the letter says. The law protects websites and apps from being sued over user-generated content — making it safer to operate social networks, comment sections, or hosting services. “Overly broad changes to Section 230 could disproportionately harm and silence marginalized people, whose voices have been historically ignored by mainstream press outlets.”

The letter is signed by a variety of groups supporting racial justice, sex workers’ rights, and free speech online — including the Wikimedia Foundation, Fight for the Future, and the Sex Workers Outreach Project. It’s addressed to Congress and the administration of President Joe Biden, both of which have shown an appetite for changing Section 230.


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SECTION 230
All the threats to the internet’s most important legal protection — updated regularly.

To demonstrate the potential harm of major changes, the authors point to FOSTA-SESTA, a 2018 rule that removed legal protections for hosting prostitution-related content. “The impacts of this law were immediate and destructive, limiting the accounts of sex workers and making it more difficult to find and help those who were being trafficked online,” they write. They’re calling to pass a 2019 proposal by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who called for a study of how the law impacted sex workers. At least one independent survey, performed by the signatory Hacking//Hustling, found a negative effect on many participants’ safety and financial stability.

The letter also notes that Section 230 lets companies remove objectionable posts without fear of lawsuits from disgruntled users. Amazon, for instance, invoked it to defend suspending the social network Parler over violent threats. “Congress should act to address the harms of Big Tech through meaningful legislative action on data privacy, civil rights and others fronts, and enforcement of existing antitrust laws. But uncareful efforts to poke holes in Section 230 could result in the exact opposite outcome,” write the authors.

The Trump administration pushed to rewrite Section 230, aiming to discourage social media sites from removing or fact-checking former President Donald Trump’s posts as well as other conservative content. Several Republican lawmakers backed similar changes. The incoming Biden administration also appears critical of Section 230, but on opposite grounds since Biden has claimed the law allows companies like Facebook to host false information. (The First Amendment protects many false statements.) Gina Raimondo, Biden’s nominee for Commerce Department secretary, expressed support yesterday for changing the law.
I love the irony of social justice keeping kiwi farms alive.
 

n/a

kiwifarms.net
How do you guys feel about this? There's been a lot going on lately, and i think there's going to be a hearing tomorrow.
(Googling section 230 right now should take you to the rabbit hole. I don't want to paste too many links.)
There's pretty clear discourse on how zuckerberg's proposal would only benefit facebook and no one else.
There's also been a bunch of lawsuits going on with youtube's moderation algorithim, twitter with a child pornography case, and vimeo taking down gay conversion therapy videos all revolving around section 230 lately, and how repealing 230 could affect TOR users (at least according to this one article).
 

ScatmansWorld

kiwifarms.net
Allegedly, the USSC has called 230 unconstitutional.
I would go as far to say the entire concept of prosecuting a publisher for the writings of an individual, digital or otherwise, is unconstitutional and also mega ‘tarded. (No, I don’t think the entire New York Times should be legally fucked over just because Mr/Mrs/Xrs Literally Who wrote about how the president totally shat themselves.)
 

janekop

sipping on haterade
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This isn't a ruling, this is the Supreme Court setting aside the federal appeals court ruling. That previous ruling had stated that Trump did violate the 1A by blocking people from his Twitter account. In response, the Supreme Court has vacated the ruling saying the case no longer has any relevance (because Trump is banned from Twitter, and because the nature of Twitter blocking *all* people from seeing Trump's tweets is a much greater concern that Trump blocking a *few* people from seeing his). Thomas's opinion doesn't call S230 unconstitutional, it calls it problematic - and even then, the only practical effects of this ruling are with regards to vacating Biden v. Knight First Amendment Institute.
 

Null

Ooperator
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This isn't a ruling, this is the Supreme Court setting aside the federal appeals court ruling. That previous ruling had stated that Trump did violate the 1A by blocking people from his Twitter account. In response, the Supreme Court has vacated the ruling saying the case no longer has any relevance (because Trump is banned from Twitter, and because the nature of Twitter blocking *all* people from seeing Trump's tweets is a much greater concern that Trump blocking a *few* people from seeing his). Thomas's opinion doesn't call S230 unconstitutional, it calls it problematic - and even then, the only practical effects of this ruling are with regards to vacating Biden v. Knight First Amendment Institute.
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Not a single thing in that declared 230 unconstitutional. I fucking HATE these right-wing grifting FAGGOTS.
 

Account

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kiwifarms.net
It doesn't. This is Thomas's opinion in the literal sense. There is nothing here stating that the section is unconstitutional.

Compare, for instance, the ruling in Roe v. Wade, specifically by CTRL+F'ing the word "unconstitutional".

EDIT:
Texas v. Johnson is even better example because it is much more direct:
Held: Johnson's conviction for flag desecration is inconsistent with the First Amendment. Pp. 402-420.

The supreme court, as entity, does things, not the individual justices. When looking for what the court does, read the Syllabus of the decision and the opinion of the court (if it is a specific justices's opinion, it is labeled as so, otherwise it is the "per curiam" section). Usually you can just skip to the end of the opinion of the court to see what the court is actually going to do (i.e. "The decision of the court of appeals is reversed, it is so ordered") or something to that effect.
 
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Rich Evans Apologist

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Yeah. It looks like it's primarily mentioned on page 10, with another reference on page 7. Thomas seems broadly to agree with the principle of not holding distributors of information as the publisher or speaker of said information, and if anything the tone seems to suggest that he's more concerned about the fact that companies can both enjoy this protection and also curate information they dislike.

Page 8 in particular is an interesting read, as he expressly calls attention to Google de-indexing and de-listing content as well as its enormous market share, and muses on the applicability of trying to regulate big tech under "common carrier" pretenses, given that Google/Facebook/Amazon/Twitter/etc are far less decentralized than the concept of email or telephone. He sounds more amenable to clarifying 230 protections or adding stipulations to them along the lines of "right to exclude."
 

AnOminous

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Allegedly, the USSC has called 230 unconstitutional. Still reading.
No it fucking doesn't. Wtf who is saying that and why?

That said it is definitely a shot across the bow to social media megacorporations with concentrated control of the speech of others.

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SCOTUS is basically saying we're going to be looking up your assholes like a proctologist really goddamn soon.

Incidentally, this is my new favorite separate opinion by Thomas. My favorite dissent is the one in Gonzalez v. Raich which essentially argues Wickard v. Filburn was decided wrongly and the federal government has no authority to regulate intrastate commerce in marijuana that has never crossed state lines or impacted interstate commerce in any other than an imaginary way.

Anyway, the arguments presented make perfect sense, and I'm not just saying that because he brings up the common carrier theory argument I've made myself, i.e. that certain platforms of a certain size, to enjoy 230 immunity, should be as unable to censor speech as the phone company.

This case makes very little in the way of binding law, though, because it's vacating a decision for being moot. The Second Circuit, because it hates Druaumph, ruled that his Twitter account was a public forum, that is, essentially protected by the First Amendment. Trump couldn't block people because it was, in a sense, run by the government.

Then Twitter decided it can just delete the President's account. How much of a public forum is it if some tranny in his underwear and programmer socks can just zap it at any time? The case is moot because Twitter's power to do that proves it isn't a government-run public forum. Twitter can kick the government off. It's a corporate forum, not a public forum.

But this raises some serious issues and these social media bitches and troons and SJWs should consider the fact that they're coming for you, motherfuckers. Your reign of terror's days are numbered.
 
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JohnDoe

Relax frens, the gas is only lethal to cringe.
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Thomas is laying out a lot of groundwork and signalling that some serious challenges to both 230 the technocratic overlords would be welcomed by the court.
 

AnOminous

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Thomas is laying out a lot of groundwork and signalling that some serious challenges to both 230 the technocratic overlords would be welcomed by the court.
I disagree about 230 itself. I think it is more about what social media corporations are allowed to do. Section 230 was supposed to be a shield to protect ISPs from their moderation if they chose not to delete content someone demanded be deleted, not a sword to claim to be more mighty than the President and able to attack people themselves without any recourse by the people they fuck over.

Imagine if the phone company could cancel your grandmother's phone account and say you weren't allowed to talk to her any more because she said nigger 10 years ago. Or even yesterday. Or even says it every other word. Well, Facebook claims the right to do exactly that and we're at a point where people are more likely to fire off a Facebook message with a picture attached than call their granny on the phone.

Why the fuck does Facebook have that right?
 

Rich Evans Apologist

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Imagine if the phone company could cancel your grandmother's phone account and say you weren't allowed to talk to her any more because she said nigger 10 years ago. Or even yesterday.
Thomas's allusion to email highlights this a little more clearly: you grandmother could always get another phone account, or even use someone else's phone in the interim. If your email was kerblammed, you could always just make another one. They're all fairly decentralized as a result.

But if your facebook account gets banned, you can't just make another one. That's ban evasion and the company wants to tie every account on the site to a real person, so for a lot of people it's one and done you're out of there. If I get denied Verizon service, I can still pick up a Sprint account and call anyone with a phone number; I can't make a profile on a competing social media account and still communicate with people on facebook.

Similarly, if my site gets deindexed / manually blacklisted from Google search results, I can't exactly just make another identical site to get around this; the fact that my site might still show up on DDG doesn't really matter if it is now impossible for someone who uses primarily Google to ever really see it, whereas if I switch my company's phone service to something else, people aren't rendered completely unable to contact me.
 
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