Vox Admits It Got Section 230 Wrong, Fixes Its Mistake
from the good-work dept
Last week we wrote about how annoying it was that major media publications were misrepresenting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and suggesting — completely without merit — that the law was designed to keep platforms “neutral” or that they were mere “pass through” vehicles, rather than actively engaged in moderation. We pointed out that online trolls and grandstanding politicians were making this incorrect claim, but it was not an accurate statement of the law, and the media should know better. In our comments, some people called me out for not suggesting that the media was being deliberately dishonest, and in response I noted that there wasn’t any evidence of deliberateness from most of them (not so much with the trolls and especially grandstanding politicians like Ted Cruz, who have been told, repeatedly, that they are misrepresenting CDA 230). I hoped that it was just a mistake that would be corrected.
Perhaps surprisingly, the author of the Vox article that I called out, Jane Coaston, did exactly that. After a few others called out her article, including Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain, Coaston has now apologized and done a massive rewrite on the original article to make it more accurate:
Last week, I wrote a story about Facebook + Section 230. Problem was, I was super, duper wrong. So I?ve updated the piece to reflect what?s actually going on ? and in so doing, hopefully showed how I (along with a host of others) got Section 230 so wrong. https://t.co/huFKn9HKmg
— Jane Coaston (@cjane87) May 14, 2019
In this era when so many people seem to want to dig in and defend incorrect things, I think it deserves recognition and kudos when people (especially reporters) can admit they made a mistake and to then correct those mistakes.