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:

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.

Filed Under: cda 230, jane coaston, section 230


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 May 2019 @ 8:03pm

    nor is it ever rewritten

    Whoa there, buckaroo. History "changes" all the time.

    Dinosaurs had feathers, and were killed by an asteroid impact. Henry Ford is remembered as a hard-nosed racist, while John D. Rockefeller is remembered as a great philanthropist. The Germans were correct in their guess that the Lusitania was illegally carrying ammunition and weaponry. Christopher Columbus was a genocidal dictator. The beliefs of Martin Luther were pretty reasonable. Mao Zedong killed millions by forcing change upon China's farmers, not because of a random horrible drought. Bill Cosby is a creep. Pluto isn't a planet. Ethan Allen is remembered as the man who took Fort Ticonderoga, even though Benedict Arnold did all the work. Thomas Edison is remembered as the man who invented modern electricity, even though Nicola Tesla did all the work.


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