Historical Documentation Of Key Section 230 Cases

from the nice-to-see dept

We've been talking a lot lately about the fact that people seem incredibly confused (i.e., mostly wrong) about the history, purpose, and even language of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. No matter how many times we try to correct the record, it seems that more people keep getting it wrong. We've talked a few times about Jeff Kosseff's excellent new book called The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet, and, as Kosseff explains, part of his reason for putting together that book is that some of the early history around CDA 230 was at risk of disappearing.

And now Kosseff has teamed up with professor Eric Goldman to create an archive of documents related to key Section 230 cases.

As Kosseff notes:

As I noted in the book, many of the filings in the early Section 230 cases (particularly from the pre-PACER days), were particularly hard to track down. In an effort to ensure that these documents are not forever lost, I worked with Professor Eric Goldman of Santa Clara University to create an online archive of many of the filings. Below are some of the key court opinions mentioned in the book, along with some of the important court filings, if available. The files from the earliest cases are largely in paper format. We plan to add these filings once they are scanned; for now, we link to the court opinions.

This is great to see and should prove to be a useful resource, especially about some of the older cases.

Of course, it still won't stop some from misrepresenting the law, but at least having this information available will hopefully lead at least a few more people to understand the actual origins and purpose of the law.

Filed Under: cases, cda 230, eric goldman, history, jeff kosseff, section 230


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Furless Zombie Hunter, 12 Jun 2019 @ 8:48pm

    Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    First, Masnick's key strategy is trying to merge, meld, and obfuscate "moderation" and "censorship" so as to empower corporations to control ALL speech.

    No one is much disputing the "moderation" aspects -- which state common law principles. The crux is the "material is constitutionally protected" provision. I hold that's UN-Constitutional on its face because directly states that supersedes the Constitution.

    These two bedrock points are so well-known as need no citation:

    1) The Constitution is The Supreme Law of the land.

    2) No mere statute can empower any entity to violate Constitutional Rights. -- The attempt to empower corporations to do so is literally fascist.

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

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    Furless Zombie Hunter, 12 Jun 2019 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    Second, I remind readers that Masnick has himself unequivocally misrepresented the law right here:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190201/00025041506/us-newspapers-now-salivating-over-bring ing-google-snippet-tax-stateside.shtml#c530

    He simply DELETED the "in good faith" requirement! -- And then blows it off as not important!

    Now, WHERE did Masnick get that exact text other than by himself manually deleting characters? -- Go ahead. Search teh internets with his precious Google to find that exact phrase. I'll wait. ... It appears nowhere else, which means that Masnick deliberately falsified the very law under discussion trying to keep me from pointing out that for Section 230 to be valid defense of hosts, they must act "in good faith" to The Public, NOT as partisans discriminating against those they decide are foes.

    Masnick is a partisan for corporations and though talks up 1A "free speech" that's just for cover: in this crucial point for corporate power he's against the clear Constitutional rights of "natural" persons. He's going to slant what writes to play up government-conferred power of corporations to control what YOU write.

    Finally, observe that Masnick keeps running Section 230 propaganda -- and casting opponents as enemy. Why? There's no real news. There's no need to so advocate for corporations, they're big enough to take care of themselves. -- And doing so only points up that his views aren't so nailed down as claims.

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    Furless Zombie Hunter, 12 Jun 2019 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    There is a clear reason why Masnick wants to empower corporations:

    https://copia.is/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/sponsors.png

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

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Furless Zombie Hunter, 12 Jun 2019 @ 8:55pm

    Even if you were right, courts can get it wrong.

    I remind that in America, We The People are the real Supreme Court. We fought a War Between The States when rich masnicks with their damnable legalisms claimed that persons were property. The Rich will say and do anything to support their direct interests. The Constitution is just "a goddam piece" of paper that interferes with their financial interests.

    It's not a stretch to so associate when Extreme Legalist Masnick blithely tells you that the very Public Forums which Section 230 creates are to be controlled by legal fictions called corporations even over YOUR Constitutional Rights.

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

  5. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 12 Jun 2019 @ 10:03pm

    re: 0 for 4

    [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Jun 2019 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Even if you were right, courts can get it wrong.

    I remind that in America, We The People are the real Supreme Court.

    You know, I have been telling them damn corporations that make movies to release them all via torrents. Maybe you can help me with that?

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

  7. icon
    PaulT (profile), 12 Jun 2019 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    No matter how many times you share that image, it doesn't mean what you think it means unless you're saying that no organisation with sponsorship is trushworthy. Others, you still haven't explained what undue influence Auttomattic and Yelkp have on this site.

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

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:10am

    Re: re: 0 for 4

    You'd think blue would leave some outrage for Jhon Herrick Smith to piss himself over, but then again, blue has never been keen on sharing.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:11am

    Re: Even if you were right, courts can get it wrong.

    Yeah... about that. The "courts can get it wrong" excuse sure didn't work for John Steele or Shiva Ayyadurai now, did it blue boy?

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:32am

    Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    No mere statute can empower any entity to violate Constitutional Rights. -- The attempt to empower corporations to do so is literally fascist.

    Well, there's a new argument from you. What, pray tell, in Section 230 says that anyone can "violate Constitutional rights." Nothing does. The section you are referring to is saying that internet service providers are allowed to moderate and block content even if that content is constitutionally protected. Nothing in that violates the Constitution, as it does not involve Congress making any law regarding freedom of expression. Unless you truly believe that family friendly sites need to allow cursing and spam (which was the point of that section).

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

  11. icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:03am

    Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    You're addressing the real section 230, the one that only says you have to go after the person actually breaking the law rather than the tool they used, and which doesn't shield platforms from any of their own wrongdoing.

    He's addressing the one in his head, where platforms are government agents because they're big and any attempt to moderate their own private property is either an infringement of peoples' rights (if they remove speech he likes) or avoiding some form of liability for a crime (if they fail to remove speech he doesn't like).

    Easy mistake, I know, but he's predictable once you work out which fiction he's referencing.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:26am

    Re: Re: re: 0 for 4

    I think he’s trying to seduce ol Jhon boi after he had his heart broken by hamilton.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 3:48am

    Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    1) The Constitution is The Supreme Law of the land.

    Most of the constitution, including freedom of speech, limits what the government can do. Further it does not say that companies must carry your speech, but rather that the government cannot stop you publishing your speech at your own expense.

    What you should consider is that if there are no popular websites supporting your point of view, then it is being rejected by most people. If it was what people wanted to hear, they would frequent sites that shared your point of view, making them popular.

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

  14. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 4:52am

    You have yet to cite any law, statute, or “common law” court precedent that says a platform must host certain speech. Until you can do that, you’re full of more shit than a truck stop toilet.

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

  15. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 4:56am

    The hilarity of all his anti-corporate whining lies in how 230 protects all websites that host UGC. If he had one of his own, 230 would protect him, too. But you’ll never see him admit it.

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

  16. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 5:37am

    More civil, less insane, and containing actual facts(probably). As though TD's biggest fan(atic) wasn't funny enough you've got spam messages being more well written and rational than they are.

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

  17. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    When someone goes out of their way to compile the definitive set of facts and caselaw (commonlaw!) surrounding 230, going postal is the only option the facts-adverse trolls have ToG.

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

  18. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re:

    Dishonesty, incoherent rambling and/or delusional ranting is their default state though, so I'm not so sure you could lay the blame on the article and the subject matter it's covering, any more than you could link someone writing an article with one of the commenters breathing.

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

  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    You're addressing the real section 230, the one that only says you have to go after the person actually breaking the law rather than the tool they used, and which doesn't shield platforms from any of their own wrongdoing.

    Distributory liability -- which every country other than the US has -- applies to the separate harm inflicted by the "tool." If someone posts revenge porn on a woman on some obscure website, that person is inflicting one harm. The search engine which ARCHIVES that website is committing a separate harm, for which they should be liable, just like a newsstand or a bookstore, once they are put on notice of the defamatory conduct.

    It's one thing to support Section 230 as it stands, quite another to pretend that search engines aren't inflicting separate harm. Sites like Ripoff Report could not exist without Section 230. If you support 230, you are supporting sites like Ripoff Report.

    People can be defamed anonymously (through "burner IP addresses" not linked to them) to where they can't be found or sued, and the search engines continue inflicting harm for which they are immune and the target is defenseless. If you support 230, you are supporting this status quo.

    Finally, people who repeat the lies they find on the internet are taking great risks, because they may not realize that the source (usually a search engine) is immune, but they are NOT immune if they use their own words without attribution (which many people omit because they don't want it known they found it on 4Chan, etc.).

    If you support 230, at least be honest about what you are supporting.

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

  20. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:14am

    Re:

    You have yet to cite any law, statute, or “common law” court precedent that says a platform must host certain speech. Until you can do that, you’re full of more shit than a truck stop toilet.

    The common-carrier doctrine which prohibits the telephone company from disconnecting users because of what they say over the phone lines.

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

  21. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:16am

    The SCOTUS has yet to rule on Section 230's distributor immunity.

    One day it will.

    No other country offers this type of protection. Search engines have been sued in Australia over what appears in their search results, in recognition of the separate harm inflicted by the search engine who distributes lies.

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

  22. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:20am

    Re:

    The SCOTUS has yet to rule on Section 230's distributor immunity.

    Let me correct that!

    No 230 case has needed SCOTUS review because it's sound law, upheld in dozens of cases.

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

  23. icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    You spew this crap a lot, but refuse to offer examples, despite the fact that the actual harm of revoking section 230 would be exponentially more than any supposed harm you have ever proven to exist outside of your own twisted mind.

    Why is that?

    "burner IP addresses"

    You keep using this idiotic term, but refuse to define it? Is it because you're just talking about NAT and DHCP, and the term is meaningless once you apply a real-world definition? Or is it because you're so uneducated as to how the internet works that you think it's like a phone number?

    "If you support 230, at least be honest about what you are supporting."

    I'm supporting the millions of people and vast amount of education and culture that currently depend on industries that can't be held liable for the actions of other people over whose actions they had no control.

    You, in turn, are doing the equivalent of demanding that every library be shut down because someone can use their archiving facility to find an old news article related to a term they're looking for.

    Even if you weren't lying, the very real downside of what you demand is far greater than any actual proven downside of section 230 existing.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re:

    And the common-carrier doctrine doesn't apply to online platforms because, wait for it, they aren't common-carriers.

    So you still have yet to "cite any law, statute, or “common law” court precedent that says a platform must host certain speech".

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re:

    How do you square that with the ruling in CBS v. DNC? Or: tell me why a social media platform that is largely if not wholly multicast and/or broadcast in nature should be equated with a point-to-point, switched network provider? (Last I checked, common carriage only applied to network providers, whether in meatspace or telecomspace, not to broadcasters or any other sort of entity.)

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

  26. icon
    PaulT (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re:

    OK. You... do know the different between Google and a utility that makes the comparison complete irrelevant, right?

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    "Distributory liability -- which every country other than the US has "

    But Mom ... everyone else is doing it - whaaaaaaaaaa

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:04am

    You're the only one misrepresenting things here

    He simply DELETED the "in good faith" requirement! -- And then blows it off as not important!

    No, he didn't, he was quoting the paragraph/section down from the good faith clause you nincompoop.

    Now, WHERE did Masnick get that exact text other than by himself manually deleting characters?

    From the paragraph immediately following the one you are talking about you dolt.

    Search teh internets with his precious Google to find that exact phrase. I'll wait.

    Wait's over:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230
    And:
    https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&am p;ei=F1MCXbesBsW4sQX49LiQCA&q=No+provider+or+user+of+an+interactive+computer+service+shall+be+he ld+liable+on+account+of+any+action+taken+to+enable+or+make+available+to+information+content+provider s+or+others+the+technical+means+to+restrict+access+to+material+described+in+paragraph+%281%29&oq =No+provider+or+user+of+an+interactive+computer+service+shall+be+held+liable+on+account+of+any+actio n+taken+to+enable+or+make+available+to+information+content+providers+or+others+the+technical+means+t o+restrict+access+to+material+described+in+paragraph+%281%29&gs_l=psy-ab.3...684.684..1152...0.0 ..0.0.0.......1....2j1..gws-wiz.....0.

    It appears nowhere else

    See above links.

    which means that Masnick deliberately falsified the very law under discussion

    Well, since he ACTUALLY was quoting the paragraph down, he didn't falsify anything.

    trying to keep me from pointing out that for Section 230 to be valid defense of hosts, they must act "in good faith" to The Public, NOT as partisans discriminating against those they decide are foes

    Or maybe you are trying to misrepresent what Mike was saying to keep from being embarrassed that you are wrong. Again.

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

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:05am

    Re:

    "No other country offers this type of protection. "

    That is weak sauce, very weak. It is juvenile and shows a lack of commitment.

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

  30. identicon
    Rocky, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:23am

    Re:

    No other country has the same concept as free speech the USA has, which means you are comparing apples to oranges.

    If you are unhappy with the current laws in the USA, may I suggest you immigrate to a country that has laws to your liking since you keep bringing the comparison up.

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

  31. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:29am

    Twitter is not a common carrier. For what reason should the law force Twitter to host legally protected speech it doesn’t want to host?

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

  32. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:30am

    No other country offers this type of protection.

    That says more about them than it does about the United States.

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

  33. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:35am

    People can be defamed anonymously (through "burner IP addresses" not linked to them) to where they can't be found or sued

    This does not prevent the defamed from going to court and having the content declared defamatory. Whether a site wants to abide by the court order that says “take that bullshit down” is another matter.

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

  34. identicon
    Rocky, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:46am

    Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law.

    You aware that your statements about Mike and Techdirt could be considered to be "false light" defamation, right?

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

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Shiva Ayyadurai still didn't invent email, John Smith.

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

  36. icon
    nasch (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    Sites like Ripoff Report could not exist without Section 230. If you support 230, you are supporting sites like Ripoff Report.

    Neo-Nazis could not spread their message without freedom of speech. If you support freedom of speech, you are supporting neo-Nazis.

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

  37. icon
    Gary (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 8:23am

    Re: Even if you were right, Blue Balls is a helpless troll

    It's not a stretch to so associate

    Everything you've said is a stretch. By your logic - corporations shouldn't be able to stop speech - Therefore copyright (corporate censorship) is forbidden.

    Please, explain how you can be such a staunch defender of censorship?

    Also - If your claims to love free speech are to be accepted - please show us the work you've done hosting a web page to support it? (Or do you just rant over at InfoWars about those damn pizza joints kidnapping children for Hillary?)

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

  38. icon
    Gwiz (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 8:25am

    Re:

    Yeah, out of all of Blue's weird notions, this one is especially weird.

    He's worried that Section 230 is going to "empower corporations to control ALL speech", but if we eliminate Section 230 (and therefore effectively eliminating all UGC), the only speech remaining will be from corporations and governments.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    Sites like Ripoff Report could not exist without Section 230. If you support 230, you are supporting sites like Ripoff Report.

    Yes, I do like it when other people warn me in advance that I'm getting ripped off.

    Why is that such a threat to you?

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    You have it exactly backwards - they are the ones who ruled on it by specifically leaving it the only part of the Communications Decency Act standing. If they wanted it otherwise they would have thrown it out with the rest of it. Instead they picked that pearl from the mud.

    America has flaws but "not willing to be the exception" isn't one of them for better or worse.

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

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 9:20am

    Re:

    Funny how some people want platforms to be considered common carrier but not ISPs.

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

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 9:44am

    most of those who get it wrong are those who complain about it and try to switch what it is supposed to do to suit their particular purpose at the time. so many times i read of this sort of thing happen ing and so few times is their any clarity at any time until some ridiculous law suit starts!

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

  43. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    The search engine which ARCHIVES that website is committing a separate harm, for which they should be liable, just like a newsstand or a bookstore, once they are put on notice of the defamatory conduct.

    It is true that a newsstand or bookstore is liable if they do not remove content that they have been told is defamatory. I was wondering though; does that mean "defamatory as adjudicated by a court" or "provided with a notice of alleged defamation?" In the former case, I have no problem assigning liability if the distributor continues to sell the material even after they know it's defamatory. However, if the only notice of the "defamatory" nature of content is a complaint from the allegedly defamed party, I don't believe that's sufficient. Unfortunately in my brief research I couldn't determine which case is the legal standard.

    You ask the search engine "find me websites that talk about [topic]" and it responds with "here are websites that talk about [topic]." Even if one of those websites says something defamatory, the search engine clearly didn't say it, and also isn't "distributing" it. All it's doing is pointing out the fact that a website made a statement. Even if the material is at some point adjudicated defamatory, that doesn't change the factual nature of the search engine's reporting - a website made a statement. I could get behind requiring the search engine or other 230-eligible website to put a notice up saying "this material was found to be defamatory in case so-and-so" but I'm not sure if it should go much beyond that.

    People can be defamed anonymously (through "burner IP addresses" not linked to them) to where they can't be found or sued, and the search engines continue inflicting harm for which they are immune and the target is defenseless. If you support 230, you are supporting this status quo.

    I wonder if part of the reason you've arrived at this position is your apparent preference for litigation as a solution. Litigation is not a wronged party's only recourse. A target of anonymous defamation (on or off-line) isn't defenseless. They can respond in the same forum where the defamation occurred with their evidence showing that the defamatory speech is in fact defamatory, or by showing that the defamer's accusations are baseless. Respond to bad speech with more speech.

    people who repeat the lies they find on the internet are taking great risks

    Spreading of rumors and gossip has always been risky. The internet and section 230 don't change that. If a rumor is spreading through high school, any consequences should be felt by the students spreading the rumor, not by the high school itself.

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

  44. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The cited precedent is valid for the question, which was not limited to "online" platforms (and arguably the phone network could be considered one of those).

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

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The precedent isn't valid because, as was stated, platforms aren't common carriers, and the phone network isn't a platform. It's infrastructure that a platform would run on top of, just like Facebook runs on top of the Internet infrastructure.

    If I created a phone-based service that people dialed into to access party-line "chat rooms," I could make use of the service conditional on "no political discussion" and kick people who didn't follow that rule... because I'd be a platform provider, not a common-carrier.

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

  46. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:30pm

    Don't worry about 230 allowing search engines to enable anyone to invade the privacy of your single daughter who lives alone, like say her landlord or some contractor with a criminal record. People are good and would NEVER abuse that information. It just doesn't happen, because no one can cite any case where it has.

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

  47. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The cited precedent is valid for the question

    No, it's not, because in order to apply, the platform/entity in question has to be a common carrier. Pizza joints aren't subject to it because guess what, THEY AREN'T COMMON CARRIERS. In the same manner, online platforms aren't subject to it for the same reason, they aren't common carriers.

    which was not limited to "online" platforms

    That was not was stated in the original post or subsequent comments. Everyone in here has only been talking about "online" platforms, in part because there isn't any other type of platform to discuss in regards to this issue.

    (and arguably the phone network could be considered one of those)

    The phone network does not rely on or use the internet so it cannot be considered "online". It's also not a platform because it is a physical infrastructure and classified explicitly as a common carrier.

    Your dishonesty is showing.

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

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    Don't worry about 230 allowing search engines to enable anyone to invade the privacy of your single daughter who lives alone, like say her landlord or some contractor with a criminal record.

    Or you could go after the theoretical privacy-invading landlord or contractor... you know, the ones who actually did something?

    Would you advocate going after the company that made the screwdriver that "enabled" the thief to break in to your house?

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

  49. identicon
    Rocky, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Please explain how someone breaking the law is enabled by 230 as by your assertion above?

    And could you also please provide citations, like related news articles?

    Because, someone like you would NEVER make shit up... Right?

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

  50. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Like you went after mikes family bro?

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

  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    Don't worry about 230 allowing search engines to enable anyone to invade the privacy of your single daughter who lives alone

    Search engines don't enable anyone to do anything like that. Search engines are like a librarian, they don't know the answer to your question, but they can help you find the book/resource that will answer your question. If the book/resource doesn't exist, then you don't get your question answered. Or in your example, if the website that ALREADY invaded your daughter's privacy didn't exist or hadn't done it, then the search engine wouldn't be able to show it to anyone.

    like say her landlord or some contractor with a criminal record

    Invading someone's privacy is a crime. If her landlord or contractor with a criminal record does this, then they should be reported and arrested. Note, they don't need a search engine to do this. I've heard tell that a pair of binoculars and an open window is sufficient to qualify as an invasion of privacy.

    People are good and would NEVER abuse that information.

    I assume you talking about information like medical records, place of residence, age, etc... All of that data has legitimate uses (just try living without giving out your age and address to anyone, anywhere) and some, like medical records are protected by law and shouldn't be publicly available. If records like those are publicly available, then the website or organization that is making them public should be reported. I guarantee that will get shut down real fast.

    Other things like your age and place of residence is pretty much already public, but still, search engines don't put that information online, other sites do. Search engines just go see if they can find your info somewhere. Which is actually beneficial for you and your daughter because you can then go to those sites and ask that your personal information be removed and they are required to do so.

    Bad people will abuse any and all information they can if they think it will benefit them. Again, search engines are not required for them to do that. People get access to other people's information all the time without using a search engine, because that information isn't contained in a search engine. It's contained in other sites or in a filing cabinet somewhere.

    It just doesn't happen, because no one can cite any case where it has.

    Cite me one case where someone's privacy was invaded SPECIFICALLY because of a search engine. Not just that they used a search engine to find a different site that contained someone's information, but that the search engine itself contained that information and that without said search engine they would never have been able to invade said person's privacy. Go ahead, I'll wait.

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

  52. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:27pm

    Don't worry about 230 allowing search engines to enable anyone to invade the privacy of your single daughter who lives alone

    You think a lot about invading the privacy of single women living alone, don’t you, Squidward?

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

  53. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:30pm

    If he could, he would. But he can’t, so he won’t. Which makes him both a liar and a coward.

    Huh. Maybe that jackass is Shiva Ayyadurai after all.

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

  54. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    Don't worry about 230 allowing search engines to enable anyone to invade the privacy of your single daughter who lives alone
    You think a lot about invading the privacy of single women living alone, don’t you, Squidward?

    When women have talked about having this done to them, how could one ignore it?

    Section 230 makes this possible, but don't worry, there's no case law saying it's ever been done, so none of the women in any of your lives are in danger from those who have control over their living quarters.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marla_Hanson

    Marla Hanson (born c. 1961) is an American screenwriter and ex-model.
    Born in Independence, Missouri, Hanson graduated from Odessa, MO High School and attended college at Southwestern Assemblies of God College (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas a suburb of Dallas, Texas. After working selling real estate and insurance, a job promotion brought her to New York City. There, a part-time modeling job eventually became a full-time career in the 1980s.
    In June 1986, she rejected the sexual advances of her landlord, Steve Roth. Roth hired two friends, Steven Bowman and Darren Norman, to attack Hanson. Hanson testified that Roth asked her to step outside a bar, and then stood by while the two men, after announcing a "stick-up," slashed her face with a razor blade. The assault left three wounds that required surgery and over 100 stitches to close,[1] resulting in permanent scars.

    Roth and the two attackers were tried separately, with Judge Jeffrey Atlas presiding over both trials. In Roth's trial, a lawyer for Roth suggested that his breaking off of a long-term gay relationship with Bowman that day led Bowman to attack Hanson out of jealousy.[2] In Roth's trial, he was found guilty of first degree assault for arranging the attack.

    In the trial of Bowman and Norman a few months later, Hanson was subjected to a controversial cross examination by Bowman's defense attorney Alton H. Maddox, who impugned her character in a line of questioning the prosecutor called "disgusting and filthy". Maddox also asserted that Hanson had "racial hangups" that led her to falsely identify Bowman and Norman, who are black, as her attackers.[3] Hanson and her attorney later publicly criticized the criminal justice system for allowing her to be humiliated on the witness stand. Bowman and Norman were found guilty.

    At sentencing, Atlas gave Roth the 5 to 15 year maximum sentence, but not before telling a weeping Hanson and her attorney he was "incensed" at their public criticism of the criminal justice system. After a brief recess, Atlas apologized to Hanson and her lawyer.[4] Mayor Ed Koch expressed outrage at Atlas's comments.[5] Bowman and Norman were sentenced to the 5 to 15 year maximum sentence as well.[6]

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

  55. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marla_Hanson

    I don't see anything in there about section 230 or a search engine "enabling" the attack.

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

  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Re:

    Section 230 makes this possible

    And you then immediately cite a case that happened long before Section 230 and search engines were even a thing.

    No one is ignoring the issue of privacy invasion, we're just calling out your insane assertion that somehow it wouldn't occur if Section 230 and search engines would just be outlawed.

    The fact that you you disproved your own point by citing a case that happened before either even existed and that the crime was committed by personal acquaintances who didn't need to search out her private information because he was her landlord and already knew her private residence information, is just icing on the cake.

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

  57. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 2:38pm

    I also don’t see anything in there about an invasion of privacy, digital or physical.

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

  58. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    I mean, credit where it's due, at least Blue only obsesses about TD/Mike in general, and hasn't (yet) started daydreaming about Mike's family and/or started leaving material straight out a demented stalker's mind.

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

  59. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Jun 2019 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But don't you see, clearly Section 230 is so vile and bad that it enables crimes before it even existed, crimes that would clearly have been impossible but for the future existence of 230.

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

  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 4:14pm

    Re: At least you’re impotent

    The only danger to women is you bro.

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

  61. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting Law

    Finally, people who repeat the lies they find on the internet are taking great risks, because they may not realize that the source (usually a search engine) is immune, but they are NOT immune if they use their own words without attribution (which many people omit because they don't want it known they found it on 4Chan, etc.).

    Okay, so... you want the opposite of this to happen, then? You want people to repeat lies without risk?

    Is there a single response you can make without shooting yourself in the foot with a fucking blunderbuss?

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

  62. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Seriously, how fucked up do you have to be as a person where the only good that someone has to say about you is citing all the fucked up shit you didn't do?

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

  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re:

    blue assumes that the death of Section 230 will exclusively empower the corporations he wants to succeed. Not that that scenario has a snowball's chance in hell of actually happening either, because Google will simply continue to be omnipresent.

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

  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jun 2019 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Nice copypaste from Wikipedia.

    Did you own the copyright on that text? No?

    The RIAA will be knocking on your door soon.

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

  65. icon
    PaulT (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The cited precedent is valid"

    No, it's not, because the term "common carrier" does not apply to the things you wish they applied to. Honestly, if you spent the same time and effort reading and comprehending facts as you do lying and misrepresenting things, you might have some real use in this world.

    Alas...

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

  66. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting

    He's also never responded to my posts about my personal experiences. Not surprising when fantasy trumps reality.

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

  67. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    True. Also, mean or untrue comments aren't defamatory until actual harm is caused, per my own personal experience; no real harm was done to myself or to my reputation.

    And nobody contested my assertion that my reputation is that of a feisty, curious, but generally friendly person. Not even our AC who constantly whines about Section 230. Funny, that.

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

  68. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting

    Sites like Ripoff Report could not exist without Section 230. If you support 230, you are supporting sites like Ripoff Report.

    Supporting Section 230 means supporting all sites. I've yet to see your response to my posts about my personal experience with ROR, to wit, no actual harm done to me or to my reputation.

    -Lies posted online don't affect your reputation, your own conduct does, as demonstrated by my personal experience.-

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

  69. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting

    ROR accepts troll posts, AC. It is not a reliable source of information on service providers, per my personal experience.

    The other review sites accepted the evidence I provided that the posts about me were from a troll but ROR just wanted me to pay to have their posts downgraded in the search results. However, to be fair, they allowed me to post a rebuttal.

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

  70. icon
    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 14 Jun 2019 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Reason doesn't stop YOU from misrepresenting

    Finally, people who repeat the lies they find on the internet are taking great risks, because they may not realize that the source (usually a search engine) is immune, but they are NOT immune if they use their own words without attribution (which many people omit because they don't want it known they found it on 4Chan, etc.).

    None of that matters if no actual harm has been done. The troll who targeted me contacted my employers directly and tried to get me fired. He failed because he could produce no evidence to back up his assertions.

    When the police confirmed that I wasn't being investigated for committing any crimes, that was the end of the matter. As I've explained over and over again, if your conduct doesn't tally with the allegations made about you, no one will believe them.

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


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