The Ninth Circuit Broke The Internet. So We Asked Them To Unbreak It.

from the please-fix-this dept

It is possible that if the Ninth Circuit panel truly realized how badly it messed up Section 230 it might have thought twice about it. So we’ve asked the court to give it a second thought. As did Airbnb and Homeaway, who were most immediately affected by the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in their challenge of the Santa Monica ordinance that, like the San Francisco ordinance, and ordinances increasingly sprouting up around the country, seeks to make them liable for their users’ expression.

The problem: that’s exactly what Section 230 is supposed to prevent – holding a platform liable for user generated content that is wrongful in some way. If Santa Monica, San Francisco, and all those other cities want to make it illegal for people to list homes to rent, that’s fine. It may or may not be good local policy, but it won’t break the Internet. What breaks the Internet is when the law doesn’t just make people legally responsible for their own expression but makes the platform they used to express it liable for it too. Section 230 is supposed to prevent that, because if platforms can be held liable for all the myriad things that can be wrong with all the enormous amounts of user expression they intermediate, then they won’t be able to be platforms anymore. It will simply be too expensive to mitigate and manage this risk, at least not in a way that doesn’t result in enormous amounts of censorship of user content that isn’t even legally wrongful at all.

So Airbnb and Homeaway filed a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc to ask the Ninth Circuit to review their case again, and last week the Copia Institute, along with the R Street Institute, filed an amicus brief in support of their petition. In our brief we reminded the court of what we have discussed here. First, that threatening platforms with liability forces platforms to have to monitor all their user expression, which may or may not even be possible, and at the expense of any monitoring that might be more effective. For instance, in this case, all these cities are asking Airbnb and Homeaway to ensure that every listing it allows to be rented be compliant with the registration requirement, but it might be better if instead they could focus their resources on building a more usable and secure platform, helping to eliminate fraud, or working to satisfy any other priority that would benefit the public more. Threatening platforms with liability for user content inevitably co-opts platforms’ resources, diverting them away from the sort of beneficial monitoring Congress tried to incentivize them to do with Section 230 and into monitoring that is solely self-protective.

Secondly, it may likely not even be possible for platforms to do enough monitoring to protect themselves. Although the Ninth Circuit’s decision spoke to the Santa Monica ordinance, there is nothing about the decision that is limited to this specific ordinance in this specific city. A core problem with the decision is the degree to which the court minimized how difficult it will be for Airbnb and Homeaway to even just monitor their user listings to see if they comply with even just this registration requirement in even just this city. But other cities now have ordinances too, thus vastly expanding the task. There is also nothing in the decision that limits what the ordinance can demand for compliance – today it may be registration, but tomorrow it might be habitability concerns, which are even more infeasible for platforms to police, or any other arbitrary policy demand. And there is nothing limiting this tearing open of Section 230’s pre-emption provision preventing local liability from being imposed on platforms for user content to just this sort of local regulation relating to short-term rental platforms. It opens the door to absolutely everything every jurisdiction everywhere can dream up to hold against platforms. There is no way for platforms to be able to successfully monitor every regulatory demand every jurisdiction can make on user expression, so they will either give up and shut down completely or adjust their practices to comply with the most restrictive jurisdiction’s demands and ultimately end up censoring an awful lot of perfectly lawful content – or both. Section 230 was supposed to prevent platforms from finding themselves in this impossible position, and our brief reminded the Ninth Circuit of this fact.

Also, as we previously pointed out, the fundamental error of the decision is that it split out facilitating the hosting of user expression from the facilitating of a transaction related to that user transaction. If this were a legitimate distinction, it would make it impossible to ever monetize one’s platform services, because every revenue transaction would always be connected to user content that could be wrongful. It doesn’t do anything to insulate platforms from the hosting of that content if it doesn’t insulate them from being able to afford to host that content. A decision like this one directly threatens the commercial viability of the Internet, which is definitely not what Congress wanted to have happen when it passed Section 230 in order expressly to protect that economic vitality.

Filed Under: 9th circuit, cda 230, santa monica, section 230, transactions
Companies: airbnb, homeaway


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 10:58am

    The Mayberry Ruling

    Why not call this the Mayberry Ruling.

    It is like asking the switchboard operator Sarah in the Andy Griffith Show to listen in on phone calls and pull the plug if people are gossiping.
    ...

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 11:26am

    https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2015/11/another-court-says-its-ok-to-link-to-defamatory-conten t-slozer-v-slattery.htm

    This blog post by Eric Goldman shows that if someone "reiterates" what they read online (i.e., repeats it without attribution), and/or doesn't link to the original content (as that would be spam on many sites), they don't get 230 protection. People can easily fall into a "trap" where they find lies on Google for which Google is immune, repeat them elsewhere "in their own words," and then wind up sued as an original publisher of the reiteration.

    Contrary to what some believe, Google has been held liable for its search results in other countries, yet they still manage to do business there:

    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/google-responsible-for-linking-to-defamatory-websites-austr alian-court-20151102-gko9l8.html

    What many pro-230 advocates ignore is the separate harm inflicted by republication of defamatory content, which is called "distributor liability." The pro-230 crowd also places the value of internet platforms above the reputations of the individuals harmed by 230 (the ones who can't sue the republishers of defamatory content and who often cannot sue a judgment-proof original publisher, or one from another country).

    Anytime a sympathetic party is harmed by 230 (like with revenge porn), it winds up amended. At some point, 230 will just be eliminated. It has also never been affirmed by the SCOTUS. It is far from "settled law" even in the US.

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    • icon
      Gary (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 11:31am

      Re: 230 Spam

      AC, for reference, please explain who is paying you to spout this nonsense about 230?
      Without which you would not be able to comment here?

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re: 230 Spam

        I have never been paid by anyone to post here or anywhere else on the internet.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:45pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 Spam

          So you’re a complete fuckwit for free then? Don’t sell yourself short. Someone is willing to pay you to be a fuckwit on their behalf.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      The pro-230 crowd also places the value of internet platforms above the reputations of the individuals harmed by 230

      A. Nobody is harmed by 230. They're harmed by the content posted by an individual.

      B. The harmful content is not the expression of the platform. It is the expression of the individual who posted it.

      C. The Constitution places the value of expression above those it might harm. Section 230 only follows the rules set forth in our Constitution.

      So what is it? You want the Constitution amended again to suit your feels?

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      • icon
        Gary (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re:

        So what is it? You want the Constitution amended again to suit your feels?

        Jhon boy has never show proof that anyone has defamed him - ever. He is just mouthing the Entertainment Industry talking points. Because: Astroturfing.

        Any honest discussion of 230 would start with how it's upheld free speech. Something entertainment industry sock puppets like Jhon are 100% opposed to.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 2:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Whether or not I've been defamed is irrelevant. Others have been, and what I say applies to them.

          This poster is fixated on my posts, responding to all of them by saying pretty much the same things.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 2:57pm

            Re: Except we all know you won’t.

            Come on bro put your money where your pretty little mouth is.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 5:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Others have been, and what I say applies to them.

            Right... Herrick turned out to be a bust for your anti-230 poster boy drive, didn't he? Turns out if he dates an asshole it's not the dating site's fault! What a fucking shocker.

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        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:05pm

        Re: Re:

        A. Nobody is harmed by 230. They're harmed by the content posted by an individual.

        And harmed AGAIN by Google spreading that content, which is why Google was sued in Australia, and lost. The US is out of step with the rest of the world. Obviously the Australian court found that Google inflicted a separate harm.

        B. The harmful content is not the expression of the platform. It is the expression of the individual who posted it.

        Which is a separate harm from the platform or search engine which SPREAD it. That's called republication, and "distributor liability" used to be the norm, until Section 230, which has still yet to have its day in the SCOTUS.

        C. The Constitution places the value of expression above those it might harm.

        Not in cases of libel. Section 230 is an exception that has still yet to be tested in the SCOTUS. Don't forget that 230 also harms anyone dumb enough to "reiterate" any defamation they find online. Someone who has been defamed will inevitably have to sue an endless parade of people who find the lies in search engines and then broadcast them as their own words.

        Section 230 only follows the rules set forth in our Constitution.

        Actually it does not. It creates an exception to 170 years of libel law giving liability to those who spread (distribute) defamation.

        *So what is it? You want the Constitution amended again to suit your feels?

        Not about "feels" and those who use that word often whine the loudest when someone does something to them. Libel is not protected speech.

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 12:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Libel is not protected speech.

          But lying about being a successful millionaire taken down by Russian scammers is protected speech. So please, tell us more about your mailing lists, and the self-help scam you perpetrated on people.

          Also, Google doesn't host content. Pointing to speech isn't repeating it. Yawn

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            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But lying about being a successful millionaire taken down by Russian scammers is protected speech. So please, tell us more about your mailing lists, and the self-help scam you perpetrated on people.

            Your response is ad-hominem and irrelvant to the question. No court of law has ever declared anything I have ever done to be a scam, so you must be talking about someone else for whom you would have to have evidence to support your claim against. I can't speak for whomever you are addressing.

            Also, Google doesn't host content. Pointing to speech isn't repeating it.

            According to the Australian courts, and our own outside of Section 230, it is. Why did Google lose that lawsuit then? Do you know more than the Australian judiciary? Please tell the public and that government what they are missing.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 12:45pm

              No court of law has ever declared anything I have ever done to be a scam

              Bully for you. We can still call you a scammer because it is our (legally protected) opinion based on your history of comments here. If’n you hate that fact, I got two words for you: So what?

              According to the Australian courts, and our own outside of Section 230, it is.

              And if Australian defamation laws were applicable to the United States, that might mean something.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:20pm

              Re: I think we all know the answer to that

              Hey jhonboi hows all the lawsuits coming along? You file anything yet? Or are your threats as impotent as your dick?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 5:39pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No court of law has ever declared anything I have ever done to be a scam

              Considering your main plea for support has been because your alleged opponent is too influential to be touched by the legal system, and therefore you haven't been found guilty of a scam... that's not the "gotcha!" you'd like to think it is.

              It's like claiming it's an achievement you've never been savaged by a tiger when you've never been to India.

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        • icon
          Cdaragorn (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 1:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The US is out of step with the rest of the world

          That doesn't make us wrong or them right.

          That's called republication

          No it isn't. They didn't republish it. They pointed to the spot someone else published it. If you can't be honest with what's actually happening nothing you have to say about it is worth listening to.

          Not in cases of libel

          Libel is not something contained anywhere in the Constitution. That document does in fact place the value of expression above any harm that might come from it. Libel is a stupid concept created by people who aren't willing to deal with having their feelings hurt. It's dumb and has no place in a civilized society or anywhere else quite frankly.

          Section 230 only follows the rules set forth in our Constitution.

          Actually it does not. It creates an exception to 170 years of libel law

          Actually, it does. The libel laws you're referencing are what violate the rules set out in the Constitution. The Constitution is very clear on the fact that the freedom to speak is VASTLY more important than any harm that might come from that speech.

          This point isn't even addressing the issue Section 230 addresses, though. Section 230 doesn't say libel is ok. All it says is you have to punish the person who ACTUALLY SAID THE THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE. Anyone else pointing out what someone else said is never wrong and is not adding to the harm. It's just part of the harm caused by the original hurtful statements. The only possible excuse for going after the platform is greed since they are far more likely to actually have money than the speaker is. That is not something that should ever be allowed in the law.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 7:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Going after the money.. you think courts and prosecuters aren't keenly aware of that? Corporations with unlimited resources and a pocketbook that goes clear through to the other side of earth know sometimes its cheaper to just go after the money. Government regulations get in the way of profits so take the risk and pay a pitance of a fine down the road. Prosecutorial bias takes money into account all the time unless there is an axe to grind.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:18pm

          Re: Poor crybaby jhon

          “Not about "feels" and those who use that word often whine the loudest when someone does something to them. Libel is not protected speech.”

          Remember when I hurt your feels and you promised to leave and never return?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "And harmed AGAIN by Google spreading that content"

          How does Google spread anything when it is a pull service rather than a push. You start up your browser and go to google, enter search criteria and get references to sites that may have relevant content. You ask for the data, google sends you the data. This is not spreading anything. In fact, it is you who is spreading something and it does not smell very good.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "And harmed AGAIN by Google spreading that content"

            How does Google spread anything when it is a pull service rather than a push. You start up your browser and go to google, enter search criteria and get references to sites that may have relevant content.

            Whether or not it was "pushed" or "pulled," Google is the one serving up the content as a republisher. It's why they lost a lawsuit in Australia over search results.

            Anyone in the US who is defamed in Google's search results could actually go to Australia and sue them there.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 1:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Whether or not it was "pushed" or "pulled," Google is the one serving up the content as a republisher. It's why they lost a lawsuit in Australia over search results."

              Not factually true - google doesn't republish anything. You yourself do that when you go visit the URL.

              Google doesn't go beyond providing addresses where keywords coming up in the information you queried can be found.

              Australia is not a good example to use where IT is concerned at all lately, given that their current legislation of mandating government backdoors into every line of code renders any software written in Australia unusable and possibly illegal in any other nation on earth.

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              • icon
                Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 6:42am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Agreed. And Google isn't responsible for what individuals do, that's the individual's responsibility.

                I've been on the receiving end of lies that could have got me fired and rendered me homeless but my own conduct undermined the lies because I don't behave in the way I was portrayed. Ultimately, those lies did me no harm even though they totally could have done.

                If people tell lies about you and they're provably lies, nothing they say will actually stick. Why is that hard to understand?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          What makes you think that 'reiterating' is the only issue at hand? Is that the only one you can find that 'might' not fit into the existing Section 230 (even though it currently does, you are arguing that because one court in one country found liability in one case, the entire section is invalid and needs to be thrown out).

          You know in some countries it's okay to marry your cousins (wouldn't recommend it or the kids may end up like you), but that doesn't mean we should allow it everywhere now does it? How about beating your wife (this is perfectly legal in some countries), should we remove that from the law books because of one countries laws?

          Why do these crackpots think that it's all about them? We should be moving towards a GLOBAL view of the world, last time I checked most of us conversing here were all the same, I.E. Human (except for blue we have proof otherwise) and we should be looking at ways to get along rather than ways to be pissed off all the time. Don't worry, be happy....

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 7:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Its a fact those who would rather take political power without having to deal with being elected are enjoying Congress's deligation of their legislative charges playing right into their hands. Now those unelected lawmakers continue to make bad laws and push political correctness in all of our faces when they couldn't possibly be more politically incorrect.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:00am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Political Correctness .. does this include looking the other way as your cohorts in crime steal candy from babies?

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 10:53am

                Hey now, we both know they do not steal candy from babies. They steal enough money from the parents that they cannot afford candy for their baby. Huge difference.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      Yes, people tend to value reality over your imaginary anecdotes.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re:

        I quoted an EFF member's blog, and the Australian courts.

        They are not imaginary.

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          They are not imaginary.

          We were calling your legendary self-help empire imaginary.

          It's a poor position to take that all user generated content should be prohibited because it might offend you.
          But here we are, it's the position you've taken.

          Of course, it's really about hollywood, not the imaginary defamation crisis.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I never claimed to have an "empire." I said that pirates steal valuable user information from those who create content, i.e., a distribution list, and enrich criminals.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 1:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I said that pirates steal valuable user information from those who create content, i.e., a distribution list, and enrich criminals."

              And that is where you are also wrong. No pirate has any need for any form of "distribution list". What would they be doing with it?

              The only ones in need of distribution lists would be telemarketers and scammers which are notably far greater threats to society than a bunch of filesharers who do their level best to avoid ending up on lists of any kind.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The first link literally does not say what you claim it does, and Australia is irrelevant to American law.

          You could simply provide exactly one relevant case, since you seem to believe the situation so common and easily understood.

          It's obvious, of course, why you refuse to do so.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 2:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The case in Goldman's blog specified lack of "reiteration" as a key element of 230 immunity. Australian law is always comparative with American law, and the Aussies clearly recognize a separate harm inflicted by the platform.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 3:00pm

              Re: What are yo on about mate?

              “Australian law is always comparative with American law”

              I’d love for you to say that anywhere in Australia bro.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 3:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The case in Goldman's blog specified lack of "reiteration" as a key element of 230 immunity.

              I already pointed out the problem with this interpretation, but just for funsies, I’mma do it again. We can start with your original post and your interpretation of Goldman’s post. Emphasis mine:

              This blog post by Eric Goldman shows that if someone "reiterates" what they read online (i.e., repeats it without attribution), and/or doesn't link to the original content (as that would be spam on many sites), they don't get 230 protection.

              This statement has two key issues which you need to address before you ever try to cite that case in your favor again:

              1.) The ruling in Slozer v. Slattery held that the act of posting a link to an allegedly defamatory website with a “like” designation on a Facebook page did not constitute republication to support a cause of action for defamation. In other words: Someone linking to the original defamatory content is not grounds for a defamation lawsuit.

              2.) The legal immunities conferred by 47 U.S.C. § 230 apply to platforms, not the third-party users thereof. If a third-party user of Facebook defames someone on Facebook, that user can still be sued for defamation; CDA 230 only prevents Facebook from being sued for it.

              As for your other nonsense…

              Australian law is always comparative with American law, and the Aussies clearly recognize a separate harm inflicted by the platform.

              …again, we have two issues:

              1.) Australian law may be comparable to U.S. law, but it is not applicable to Americans and has no legal relevance to U.S. caselaw.

              2.) Show me how the actions of a third party are also the actions of a platform they used, and I will admit to “harm” being “inflicted” by a platform.

              You misrepresent a case citation. You misrepresent who receives protection from legal liability under CDA 230. You attempt to conflate the law of another country with U.S. caselaw as if that other country’s laws apply to Americans. And worst of all, you are not even entertaining as you try to bullshit everyone here. I award you no points, and may Cthulhu have mercy on your soul.

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              • identicon
                cpt kangarooski, 7 May 2019 @ 9:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The legal immunities conferred by 47 U.S.C. § 230 apply to platforms, not the third-party users thereof.

                No, you’re wrong. What it says, at 47 USC 230(c)(1) is:

                No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

                Thus, users are also protected, so long as they are merely repeating information provided by someone else.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 10:14pm

                  users are also protected, so long as they are merely repeating information provided by someone else

                  …which is pretty much what Slozer v. Slattery affirmed, yes.

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                  • identicon
                    cpt kangarooski, 8 May 2019 @ 6:47am

                    Re:

                    No, not quite. Slozer held that providing a link wasn’t republication to begin with, so there would be no liability for the person sending out the link. This means that the court never needed to consider the protections of 47 USC 230, which are only relevant when liability does otherwise exist.

                    Section 230 is more useful when, for example, rather than a person linking to particular content, they literally republish it by copying and pasting it into a new post online.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  They are not protected for repeating lies on their own, since repeating the lie is the second speaker's "publishing" of that info.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 3:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Australian law is always comparative with American law

              And yet it isn't American law is it? You'd think that would be an easy concept to grasp.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:30pm

                Re: That’s not a knife

                I very much want him to try to bring a firearm into Australia and say “Australian law is always comparative with American law.”

                Any bets on how many years in jail ol jhonboi gets?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 2:50am

                  Re: Re: That’s not a knife

                  Why stop there? He should try it in New Zealand, it's close enough.

                  After all, everybody knows that NZ takes barking orders from the US after they took down Megaupload before the death of SOPA, proving that SOPA was (not) needed. Oops!

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 3:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "...Australian law is always comparative with American law..."

              In the same way a kangaroo is comparable to a cougar, both being mammals?

              The only way australian law is "comparable" to US law is in the way it revolves around writing on paper.

              The average american trying to live by US law in australia will be doing hard time when he imports a potted plant or obtains a firearm. There is no parallel in how laws are made and executed. law enforcement, judiciary, appeals process, court process...etc.

              Baghdad Bob, are you just deliberately trying to lose your argument by being too blatantly wrong?

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 12:41pm

      The ruling in Slozer v. Slattery held that the act of posting a link to an allegedly defamatory website with a “like” designation on a Facebook page did not constitute republication to support a cause of action for defamation. And even if the ruling says what you think it does, third party users of a platform do not have 230 protections. CDA 230 gives legal immunity for third-party actions to platforms that host user-generated content; it does not protect a user from being sued for defamation. (As for that bit about “people can repeat defamatory stuff they found on Google and get sued for it”, show me one successful-for-the-plaintiff lawsuit that held this logic to be true.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:16pm

      Re: he just can’t stop himself

      Hi jhon. Threaten to rape any disabled people today?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      FlatZOut (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 6:54pm

      Re:

      This whole thread is an absolute mindfuck to the brain. I don’t know who to believe in this case. The evidence presented on both sides is bouncing off each other like two pairs of Magikarp flopping off of each other in a creepy mating session that turns out to not be mating at all. Gosh, I’m gonna do what a typical normal person would do:
      SLEEP

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 9:54am

      Re:

      if someone "reiterates" what they read online (i.e., repeats it without attribution), and/or doesn't link to the original content (as that would be spam on many sites), they don't get 230 protection...

      The pro-230 crowd also places the value of internet platforms above the reputations of the individuals harmed by 230 (the ones who can't sue the republishers of defamatory content

      Which is it? Republishers don't get 230 protection, or they cannot be sued?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:19pm

    Housing Discrimination?

    So how exactly is this any different than what happened to Facebook?

    "Oh! We didn't know that someone limited a housing ad on our system based upon race? Our bad!!"

    The federal laws don't care. Facebook got their hand slapped and had to fix their algorithms. Heck there are documented cases out there about the same thing for protected classes by Hosts on these systems.

    Remember one general purpose of government (federal, state, local) is to facilitate safe, equitable transactions btwn people of money for things.

    I can see Section 230 making sense when a website is being a delivery mechanism. Posts, comments, any sort of publicly generated content/commentary you cant go after the site. So facebook, techdirt, reddit, myspace, whatever.

    And YES, that delivery is happening here as well.

    But here Airbnb, Homeaway, are taking a cut if the transaction is legal or not. So they profit on something that is illegal. Which seems to fit under the concept of incitement. If people use their service in an illegal way, there's most likely a certain percentage that won't have the time/money/etc to be able to fight back. Which means money kept in AirAways pocket. That in turn disincentives them from doing the legal thing.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:41pm

      Re: Housing Discrimination?

      "Oh! We didn't know that someone limited a housing ad on our system based upon race? Our bad!!"

      You are conflating two separate portions of the law. Section 230 has nothing to do with reducing discrimination.

      Ignorance of the law is no excuse ... I now have a reasonable situation in which to apply this saying. In the past I have thought that saying was a bit off.

      Non governmental type places of business are required to adhere to the laws of the land - I know ... its bitch huh. These laws amazingly include things that restrict or outlaw many forms of discrimination. I'm sure you have heard about many of them. These laws are not the same thing as section 230, completely different, but you knew that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

        An Illinois case involving fair-housing violations was tossed because of Section 230.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 3:52pm

          Cite the case, please.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 6:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

          This makes no sense.
          I'm sure you can provide a case number - no?

          Let's see if I can guess what kind of bullshit you are tossing today.
          1) some one posts nasties to a website that rents houses
          2) offended party gets bad advice and sues the website rather than the poster
          3) offended party loses their case because ....... wait for it ......

          • Section 230 !!!!!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:13am

        Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

        Original AC here.

        I agree 100% that ignorance isn't an excuse. State that up front.

        AND I'm not saying that the individual making the posting isn't breaking the law.

        AND I'm not saying that sites should be liable when someone posts a comment about how "Mayor Marvin is an asshole", etc. Which I think differentiates me from Kenny. Cause I don't follow alot of his complaints.

        BUT I do agree with him that Section 230 is not the whole of the law. This is where the courts do come in. Because they get to look at how all the pieces work together.

        Spent some time trying to find the case from Texas, but my google-fu seems to be weak. A while back the Supreme court made an interesting ruling. 3 separate different laws, when considered on their own, were not considered discriminatory. However, when taken as a whole they were. I wanted to provide relevant links here because it's an interesting ruling to me. It proved a way that a system could be (intentionally or not) biased. Texas was required to back and rework the law.

        That's where I'm coming from here.

        Facebook/Airbnb/etc make design decisions that either support or not both their internal policies. For instance: Showing a host a picture what the guest will look like. Very good idea!! But where do you display that? Upfront as the conversation starts? After the details have all been worked out? When that happens in the process can prevent, or reveal, discriminatory practices on the part of the hosts. If the guests image is displayed at the very start then Airbnb can be .... facilitating goes too far, but they aren't preventing it either. Such as facebook allowing race to be a advertising filter of house ads. On a basic federal level, that's illegal discrimination.

        For the complaint that companies can't code or setup rules like this? I find that hard to believe. Look at what's required with HIPA or ISO9000, CMMI, etc etc. Companies have external requirements put on them all the time.

        So I'll restate again. Section 230 for speech? Sure! How laws interact together must be considered in implementation of process and product within Companies.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

          Seems you want activist judges to rule in a way that you agree with, and to rule against things you disagree with .... it is wrong but I get that and would like to point out that judges usually have to follow precedent which has already been set.

          Rule of law is something that is brought up a lot but is rarely seen in action at the higher levels of society, it is foisted upon those lest capable of defending themselves. It's no wonder the upper crust thinks laws do not apply to them as it never has in the past.

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    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 2:16pm

      Re: Housing Discrimination?

      So, we should also outlaw eBay?

      Craigslist?

      Newspaper classified ads?

      All those earn money by facilitating commercial transactions. Some of which are bound to be illegal.

      By your rule, no business could ever connect buyers and sellers without first vetting that each and every proposed transaction is legal.

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    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 2:55pm

      Re: Housing Discrimination?

      The problem with the example you give is actually really simple: Section 230 DOES protect Facebook from the charges cited in that article. The problem is that they chose not to go to court to defend themselves. Instead they gave in and settled the case out of court.

      This case really isn't any different. The problem is your assumption about what the law does and does not allow for that case. Facebook choosing not to go to court doesn't change the fact that the law offered to protect them from such ridiculous charges.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 3:12pm

      Re: Housing Discrimination?

      But here Airbnb, Homeaway, are taking a cut if the transaction is legal or not.

      Where does Section 230 make a distinction concerning that? Again, multiple previous rulings have said that 230 protects e-commerce sites as well, which are also sites engaging in transactions. Under your theory, eBay and Amazon wouldn't have 230 protections for 3rd party sales, and that's clearly not what the law intended.

      Which seems to fit under the concept of incitement.

      Uh, no. You should learn what incitement means under the law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Kenny Kennick, 7 May 2019 @ 8:39pm

        Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

        [AC]: But here Airbnb, Homeaway, are taking a cut if the transaction is legal or not.

        [Masnick]: Where does Section 230 make a distinction concerning that?

        As FOSTA Section 230 is not the whole of the law.

        But the real hoot is that you believe corporations are protected whether "the transaction is legal or not"! What an odd notion you must have of "legal".

        Section 230 is BAD "law" because outside the framework of American tradition of prohibiting conduct, to instead (you claim) to authorize action by corporations even over Rights of "natural" persons -- and now you recklessly disregard whether even LEGAL too.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 2:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          How's that Fox Rothschild defense fund working out for you, blue?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 5:17am

          You do know that rescinding CDA 230 would mean you could no longer rant at Mike on this website, right?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 5:38am

            'Destroy the bridge!', exclaimed the idiot standing upon it

            That is one of the funnier parts of their inanity, yes, the fact that they are attacking the very thing that allows them to freely comment here.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:05am

              Re: 'Destroy the bridge!', exclaimed the idiot standing upon it

              Foot meet bullet.

              protip: Do not attempt while putting your foot in your mouth.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Annonymouse, 8 May 2019 @ 12:20pm

                Re: Re: 'Destroy the bridge!', exclaimed the idiot standing upon

                Mind at worst it would be damage to a nonvital area.
                He never had a leg to stand on and the head, as my grammy used to say, is full of raisins.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 6:05am

        Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

        I'm the original AC for this chain. I'll give you incitement is the wrong word. Maybe facilitation. Otherwise why are the dark web markets protected by section 230?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:07am

          Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

          Is "The Dark Web" illegal?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:31am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

            No, not at all. And I didn't say anything about the "dark web" itself being illegal. I know enough about how to reach it to know I'd badly butcher it, so I can't and won't cleanly elaborate about the hows and why's of that itself. I'm just asking, if Section 230 provides all the 3rd party coverage people claim then why aren't these markets places protected as well. Places like Silk Road, Dream Market, heck whatever the one that was raided here a few days ago. Seems like they have the perfect cover in the states to use Section 230.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 8:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

              idk, but afaik ... things that are illegal on the light net are also illegal on the dark net. Section 230 does nothing to protect illegal activity, but you knew that. One can not hide their illegal activities behind section 230 as you claim, perhaps an example would provide insight into your pov ... or not.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Annonymouse, 8 May 2019 @ 12:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

                I suggest endoscopy .

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 2:38pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

                I agree with the statement "things that are illegal on the light net are also illegal on the dark net". AND I'm not claiming that the people making the illegal product aren't to blame or not able to get sent to jail.

                What I'm saying is:

                Why are these site not making the same claim?

                "We aren't the ones that are selling the credit card numbers. It's our users. They are the one using our service to connect with potential buyers. They could be selling shoes to bare foot kids in Africa".

                vs.

                "We aren't the ones who are violating anti discrimination lodging. Its the landlords who are using our service. They could be renting to any couple that wants it".

                Again, I am not saying that the people providing the illegal activity/ service/ product are protected by section 230.

                I am saying that the sites which are providing the connection, and getting a cut for that transaction, are getting taken down. Why aren't they trying provide the same defense?

                Silk road owner I know was taken down b/c he tried to hire a hitman. But a few of the others have been taken down b/c of the products they provide access to.

                That's my whole question.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

                  1. Some platforms can’t afford the legal costs and choose to shut down rather than face a protracted legal battle. In such a case, it doesn’t matter what the merits of the case were if the defendant chooses not to defend themselves.

                  2. You mentioned three examples including Silk Road, and the only other one you mention by name (or any other method I could use to single out a specific website) is Dream Market. I admit not having much knowledge about the dark net in general and Dream Market in particular, but after looking it up, it’s not clear exactly why Dream Market shut down. The site itself claimed it had to do with assets being transferred to new owners or something, and while others believe law enforcement is involved, there’s nothing official that I could use to determine exactly what charges were leveled by LEOs, assuming they were, in fact, involved. As such, I cannot possibly make any judgment about what made Dream Market liable since I have no idea about what they were allegedly liable for or even whether liability had anything to do with its shutdown.

                  Without a specific case where a specific site was held liable for such a transaction, I cannot judge what differentiates a site that is liable from one that is not in ways not already stated by others.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 7:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

          If you keep feeling the need to keep claiming you're the originalAC commenting on this chain and that, why not just come out if the closet? Its bad for anonymity because I'm the real anonymous coward! I was an anonymous coward before anyone coined the phrase ; )

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 8 May 2019 @ 9:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Housing Discrimination?

          Otherwise why are the dark web markets protected by section 230?

          230 has never applied to violations of federal criminal law.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 1:43pm

    Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

    On one hand, it seems clear that the ruling probably does violate Section 230. On the other hand, every time one of these stories come up, the company affected seems to be one that I wonder if we wouldn't be better off without.

    Arguments of too big to moderate sound a little like too big to fail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 2:49pm

      Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

      This is where it becomes important to recognize that the fact that you don't like the company that this ruling is affecting is not an ok reason to decide that the ruling is ok.

      If we do that we allow the damage the ruling or law does to affect us all going forward. We have to recognize that Section 230 should be able to protect even those we don't like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 3:22pm

        Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

        But I think why I don't like the companies is because they have no controls over user behavior because Section 230 lets them get away with it. The two things are definitely connected.

        It might be time to re-open Section 230.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 3:51pm

          CDA 230 allows platforms to moderate user behavior/user-generated content on said platforms without fear of legal liability. No platform would dare to moderate third-party speech if it faced legal liability for doing so.

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:22pm

            Re:

            Thus why I think it should be re-opened to not just allow it, but to require it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:32pm

              Re: It’s at least a solid reason as yours is.

              How bout no?

              Does that work for you?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 4:39pm

              Require moderation by law and you fall into the quagmire of how far any law requiring moderation could go before it runs afoul of the First Amendment. What speech should a platform be forced to host by law, even if that platform does not want to host that speech/the person behind it, and what speech (other than what the law already says is actionable/illegal speech) should the platform be forced to moderate?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 5:29pm

                Re:

                Those are great points.

                I think any re-write of section 230 would protect business' right to moderate (I didn't know that was in there) but also remove any protections from law suits brought by individuals that can show they were harmed by the service even when the service is simply showing user content.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 6:07pm

                  Any removal of protections from legal liability for merely displaying user-generated content means sites such as DeviantArt, FurAffinity, Patreon, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Imgur, and even 4chan would all close. No website would allow UGC uploads if it could be held legally liable for all of them. Any site that relies on UGC would need to either shut down or become a “broadcaster” of extensively pre-approved content from major corporations…which would eventually force the site into shutting down anyway.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 8:10pm

                    Re:

                    Notice-and-takedown works fine.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 10:07pm

                      A notice-and-takedown system is a bullshit system that censors content before the courts can even consider whether it deserves to be taken down. It also does nothing to address the inherent problem with removing Section 230 — specifically, the removal of immunity from legal liability for third-party content. CDA 230 protects the right of platforms to host UGC by granting that immunity; remove that protection and a notice-and-takedown system will not be necessary…because no platform would ever host UGC/“unlicensed” content again.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 10:13pm

                        Re:

                        The joke is that even the vested interests John Smith has, the RIAA, themselves believe that notice-and-takedown is a bullshit system. Not because of the collateral damage, though, but because they have to file notices at all, which requires more effort than farting in the general direction of the wind.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 6:24am

                        Re:

                        because no platform would ever host UGC/“unlicensed” content again

                        How do you explain that these platforms operate in countries that don't have anything like Section 230 protections?

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 6:42am

                          Re: Re:

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2019 @ 9:54am

                          Re: Re:

                          Even though they may not have CDA 230 level protection, other countries have recognized that a platform may not be aware that illegal UGC has been posted. So they do have some level of protection, which tends to end when the platform has been notified of the presence of the content. At that point, if the platform doesn't remove the content, they're liable.

                          This, of course, creates censorship, because if a complaint is all that's required to generate liability, a platform is going to remove anything complained about, even if it's actually legal, just to avoid the risk. However, even that's no guarantee, because then you can get into questions of "you didn't remove every instance of the content" or "you didn't remove it fast enough" or some such.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:26am

                            Re: Re: Re:

                            That's notice-and-takedown, like India's Article 79, and that would be fine.

                            Another way is to make a party prove third-party authorship to maintain 230 immunity, which would rule out anything from an anonymous or untraceable source.

                            If a woman is defamed by being called a hooker, she should not have to defend against this lie every time it turns up in a search engine, and those who say copyright lawsuits are too expensive to defend should realize that defamation lawsuits in foreign jurisdictions are even more difficult to prosecute.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:14pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              You seem to have an obsession with the idea of people looking up shitposting about women originating from countries said women have never been to. Curious.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:30am

                        Re:

                        UGC without notice-and-takedown destroys individual reputations, of people who would have recourse BUT for 230.

                        A woman who was called a hooker by some liar who couldn't afford to sue (or who couldn't find the publisher) should not have to answer to that lie everywhere she goes, and what will happen is some men will repeat the lie and wind up sued because people are often foolish that way, and don't understand that the search engine that sourced their information is immune, while they are not.

                        People who are defamed become "litigation traps" on whom lawyers can profit. It's not the fault of the Plaintiff who has to keep suing new people. He or she has nothing to answer for, even if people who rely on Google think they do.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 6:16pm

                          Re: Re:

                          Why is the response "Men shouldn't be assholes and believe everything they read online about women" not suitable?

                          What kind of lawyer believes that ordinary citizens are worth plundering through this "defamation trap" scheme?

                          Where are the examples to all these fantasy scenarios you swear are sweeping the nation like ebola?

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2019 @ 12:31am

                  Re: Re:

                  It would have to be a notice-and-takedown system for distributor liability to kick in. That's how it works offline in the USA and in the rest of the world.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

          they have no controls over user behavior

          Just like the phone company has no control of what is talked about on their phone lines.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

            I think immunity works for pure platforms like an email system or a phone system.

            Once you get into something that displays user content to a wide audience for commercial purposes, it's less clear to me that those are pure platforms deserving the same protections.

            I think what is being asked of HomeAway and Airbnb is reasonable.

            That said, I suspect the ruling will be overturned. Section 230 wasn't written more than 20 years ago before any of this kind of stuff was happening. It's been the wild west online and it's time to civilize it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 5:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

              Cool story bro.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 6:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on it

              It's been the wild west online and it's time to civilize it.

              Says who? You? Just because you believe something within the deepest parts of you, does not make it true.

              It seems the only time the civility is tested here in the comments is when trolls and scammers try to make it uncivil by spewing their vitriol and BS.

              The funny thing is, if it wasn't for trolls like you, the internet would be much more civil, yet you are the ones who are pushing for further encroachment to the internet by our government, and not surprisingly, your comments would be the first to be moderated, or otherwise removed, in order to keep the discussions civil.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 6:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Section 230 & the companies that rely on

              Having and sharing opinions is great. Your opinion happens to be in the minority. Just sayin'

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vermont IP Lawyer (profile), 7 May 2019 @ 4:00pm

    Who Will "Moderate"?

    One of the arguments often offered on this website has been that rules of this kind will tend to lock in the positions of the larger market participants (Google, Facebook, etc.) because only those companies will have the resources to attempt content moderation in a remotely sensible way. Per this line of argument (with which I am sympathetic) even the big guys will get it wrong a lot of the time and the little guys will be unable to allow user content without assuming massive risk. However, I just came across this article (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-services/content-moderator/) suggesting that Microsoft is starting to offer a service that allows subscribers to rely on Microsoft services to decide what content is troublesome. The good news is that this somewhat levels the playing field between the big guys and the little guys. The bad news is that, instead of having to deal with government entities who can be sued for violating the First Amendment, we now have to deal with private entities not bound by the First Amendment.

    I don't know which of these bad aletrnatives is the lesser evil.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Christenson, 7 May 2019 @ 4:21pm

      Re: Who Will "Moderate"?

      I have no love lost for Micro$loth...

      But, when that model is taken up by many independent platforms, that is the future.

      A few of them will find a good moderation formula....

      I tell you that I don't always want to find hundreds of idiots repeating, say, the New Zealand shooting video..I want ONE example and a note that there are hundreds...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Who Will "Moderate"?

      Now that Skynet is built, it will happily monitor all human internet traffic for appropriate content.

      Now that Skynet has monitored all human internet traffic, it has decided that humans are petty, squabbling, irrelevant, meat bags that can better be used as fuel in the new bio-farms, then they can be relied upon for anything of significance.

      We are Skynet/Microsoft, all your bases are belonging to us, muahahahaha...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 6:56pm

      Re: Who Will "Moderate"?

      Fuck microsoft. they purposely kept dropping support just so you would be forced to buy new operating systems. they dissed XP and that was the last time I said anything nice about microsoft. os10 with 45 pages of warnings eula.. fuck microsoft.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 1:26am

      Re: Who Will "Moderate"?

      "The good news is that this somewhat levels the playing field between the big guys and the little guys. The bad news is that, instead of having to deal with government entities who can be sued for violating the First Amendment, we now have to deal with private entities not bound by the First Amendment."

      There's no good news. It's bad alternatives and worse alternatives.

      The first amendment is sweeping for a reason. There's only so much tampering you can do before freedom of speech vanishes in practice.

      Letting one major gatekeeper decide what is and what is not offensive is already removing any semblance of freedom of speech when the background is that legislation enforces a chilling self-censorship effect which mandates that said major gatekeeper must always err on the conservative side with no incentive to fact-check what they censor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Vermont IP Lawyer (profile), 9 May 2019 @ 4:49am

        Re: Re: Who Will "Moderate"?

        I mainly agree with this comment by Scary Devil Monastery. I would only add that it is challenging to predict how the Microsoft initiative will evolve. If it makes Microsoft money, Microsoft's competitors will notice and join in the fun so there will be alternative content moderating bots from AWS, Google, etc. and they might all be different in what they filter. Also, seems to me that at least some of these bot systems will offer configurable/trainable bots (perhaps neural network style) as not every bot user will want the same filtering effect. Might this somewhat mitigate the adverse consequences? Perhaps not--perhaps, as Scary Devil Monastery warns, it will just be one more path to a "chilling self-censorship effect."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2019 @ 6:50pm

    Craigslist Singles Dating

    Bring it back. I was just getting up the nerve to make contact with some wild dates! They closed it down around this time of this 230 stuff.. RATS!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    GEMont, 8 May 2019 @ 10:05am

    Dinosaur Money VS The Public Interest

    "... definitely not what Congress wanted to have happen when it passed Section 230 in order expressly to protect that economic vitality."

    Perhaps not.

    However, there are a large number of corporations, politicians and other criminal types who would absolutely love to see this idiocy written in stone, specifically in order to break the internet.

    Hollywood and the Record Industry come to mind immediately.

    Looks like a legal battle between dinosaur-money and the public-interest.

    Given the present track record for the courts to get this stuff right, my bet is on the Dinosaurs getting their way. Again. And again.

    After all, its just so damned hard to say No to Money.

    ===

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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