Supposedly Disadvantaged Conservatives Not Exactly Rushing To Support Josh Hawley's Anti-Section 230 Bill

from the how's-that-working-out dept

Senator Josh Hawley's ridiculous and unconstitutional bill to remove CDA Section 230 protections from internet giants was clearly designed to appeal to conservative voters who have been fed a nonstop myth that the big internet platforms are "targeting" them for their conservative views, when the reality is that the platforms are mostly targeting trolls, harassers, Nazis, and assholes. If those factors are disproportionately impacting Republicans, then perhaps that's more an issue for the Republican party than the internet platforms.

Either way, given that the myth that platforms are "targeting" conservatives has some traction, it seems likely that Hawley thought the conservative movement and conservative organizations would likely rush in to support his nonsense bill. It appears he miscalculated. FreedomWorks, the organization closely associated with the Tea Party movement put out a tweet mocking Hawley for thinking "conservatives are too stupid to realize he's trying to kill free speech online."

The group Americans for Prosperity put out a very strong statement against Hawley's proposal:

“Senator Hawley’s misguided legislation sets the table for stricter government control over free expression online. Eroding the crucial protections that exist under Section 230 creates a scenario where government has the ability to police your speech and determine what you can or cannot say online. Senator Hawley has argued that some tech platforms have become too powerful, but legislation like this would only cement the market dominance of today’s largest firms. This bill would punish success in the next generation of innovative startups and prevent them from achieving their full potential. Lawmakers should reject this legislation.”

Over at CATO, John Samples highlights how Hawley's own bill seems to go against conservative ideals:

Sen. Hawley’s bill seeks to undermine an older American conservatism. Not long ago, the Reagan legacy spoke powerfully to conservatives. Of course, the Reagan administration ended the Fairness Doctrine and in general, supported markets free of government regulation. Some now believe that times have changed and the ideals of 1980 no longer should guide conservative thinking. If that was “then,” Sen. Hawley is definitely “now.” But if conservatives are turning their backs on timeless ideals like free markets and free speech, what could conservatism mean beyond political necessity and the rage of transient majorities?

But perhaps the best response from a traditional conservative to Hawley's nonsense comes from David French at the National Review. As he notes, Hawley's bill is an "unwise, unconstitutional mess." The article should be required reading for any "conservative" who thinks Hawley's bill makes sense.

In reality, it’s a bill that would inject the federal government directly into the private social-media business and grant it enormous power over social-media content. It would enable public censorship in the name of limiting private control.

French also does a great job laying out why Section 230 makes sense -- even highlighting an argument I made decades ago, that Section 230 is simply locking in common sense in how to properly apply liability:

Section 230 codifies online a concept we easily understand in the offline world. For example, if you attend a congressman’s town-hall meeting, and he instructs his audience that their comments are limited in time, that they cannot use profanity, and they should remain on topic (moderating the platform), does that transform their speech into his speech?

If I’m in a public university classroom, where the professor can rule discourse with an iron fist, are my comments his comments — even if he shuts down students he doesn’t like or imposes strict rules of civility and decency?

But there’s a difference between student-classroom comments and a college newspaper publishing a student symposium, where it selects, edits, and fact-checks the submissions. These distinctions have become so obvious over time that we scarcely discuss them, and these distinctions exist online as well. In many ways, Section 230 — far from creating a “special break” for computer services — codifies common sense. My Facebook comment is fundamentally my speech.

Indeed, there was a time when I used to argue we shouldn't need a Section 230 at all since it was such common sense... but after seeing so many people perplexed by the internet and suing the middleman, rather than those actually responsible, I've come to appreciate the procedural benefits of Section 230.

However, the point that French raises above, about how Section 230 is codifying common sense is important in another way as well: in debunking the other big myth that Section 230 is somehow a "gift to the tech industry." It is not, and has never been. Over and over again people wrongly insist that this is some "special privilege" to the big internet companies. Hell, Hawley himself just tweeted that it's some sort of "special immunity." It's not "special." It's just properly applying liability in a common sense way. We wouldn't need it if people didn't keep falsely blaming internet services for the actions of their users, but as long as people like Josh Hawley want to blame the wrong party, then it's what we'll end up with.

And, of course, French highlights just how obviously unconstitutional Hawley's bill is:

Hawley’s standard is most assuredly not the viewpoint-neutrality standard seen in First Amendment case law. It’s a carnival funhouse version that would invite an enormous amount of bureaucratic meddling. For example, conservative sites and posts often do very well on Facebook, in part because of its older user base and partly because conservative Facebook users have gotten quite good at creating viral content. Will a Kamala Harris administration decide that disproportionate conservative success violates political neutrality?

Laws that purport to regulate First Amendment–protected speech bear a special burden of precision and clarity. They have to clearly explain what is prohibited and permitted. Vague or overbroad laws violate the Constitution in part by failing to provide fair notice of government standards. Hawley’s bill, as written, is extraordinarily vague. Terms such as “disproportionate” are very hard to define. Disproportionate to what? User percentages? Population percentages? User engagement? The standard is extraordinarily malleable.

I am sure that there will be some "conservatives" who will come out in favor of Hawley's bill, but so far, it appears that many conservatives are pointing out how anti-conservative it is. Hilariously, it seems that the main thing linking those who support Hawley's effort is not any particular ideology other than blind hatred for internet companies, and an attitude that anything that hurts the big internet companies must surely be good, just because. That's one way to make laws, but it's certainly not a principled one, nor a good one.

Filed Under: bias, cda 230, conservatives, free speech, josh hawley, section 230


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:13pm

    My Facebook comment is fundamentally my speech.

    So much common sense in one statement. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that statement?

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    • icon
      Gary (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Precisely because they don't want your free speech.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:22pm

      Re:

      There is a type of person that Believes what he is told..Period.
      He has no reference to look up information, he will never Look in a dictionary, encyclopedia, Any reference to what has been said. "The Moon is Blue and made of cheese." And that person will believe it. Until its proven Wrong..
      The Worst part of this, is WHO do they listen to MORE, or respect enough to Believe them Over anyone else.. Give me a wall of Fake Licenses, and Credentials and they will listen.
      The Big one is that we are TOLD all our lives that the Preacher is telling us the truth..and some of those a NUT CASES...including the TV ones.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:09pm

      Money and laziness

      Because Facebook has lots more money than the overwhelming majority of those using it's service, such that when it comes to suing someone they make for a much more lucrative target than some random user on their platform.

      It's also much easier to go after one target(Facebook in that case) and force them to play whack-a-comment of anything that might be problematic rather than going after the individual posters.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      "My Facebook comment is fundamentally my speech."

      "So much common sense in one statement. Why is it so difficult for people to understand that statement?"

      Why is it so difficult? Because it makes no sense, that's why.
      Even if this person was handicapped, limiting ones self is not the fault of others.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 3:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Wait, what? What are you smoking?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 5:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If one thinks the only way to voice an opinion is via FB, then isn't that a self imposed restriction and therefore it's your own fault.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 7:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You might want to re-read that line then, because that's not what it says.

            He is saying that his comments on Facebook belong to him, he is the one writing and posting them, not someone else. He isn't saying that's the only place he can speak.

            In no way can you read that sentence as saying he is limiting himself.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 8:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Doesn't matter because FB does not have to host one's speech, I just thought I'd point out how silly your argument looks.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 9:46pm

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

                Yes it does and no it doesn’t.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 8:17am

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

                Doesn't matter because FB does not have to host one's speech

                Well, it does matter because whether I post my speech on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or stand on a street corner with a sign and a megaphone, my speech is still my speech. It's not Facebook's, not Twitter's, not Instagram's, and it's definitely not the sidewalk's. That DOESN'T mean they have to host my speech, but it DOES mean they shouldn't be liable for something that they didn't do and doesn't belong to them (i.e. my speech).

                I just thought I'd point out how silly your argument looks.

                And I just thought I'd point out how silly your comment looks since you are addressing a point neither I, nor the OP actually made. We're not saying they have to host our speech, we're saying they shouldn't be LIABLE for our speech. You know, that's kind of common sense. You don't arrest John Smith for theft that was committed by Joe Bloe.

                Honestly, how are people not understanding plain English in this comment section?

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 9:18am

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

                  I can see that your original comment was misunderstood, by more than just one person me included. Can you see how that happened?

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 1:55pm

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

                    You are bad at reading the English language?

                    Seriously, your first comment completely misread or misunderstood the OP's comment. That's what started all this.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2019 @ 1:16am

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

                  my speech is still my speech

                  That is all you had to say. What does facebook have to do with it? You could be booted from facebook at any minute for any reason. Why no mention of twitter, youtube or td etc...?

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 11:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You might want to re-read that line then, because that's not what it says."

              Then what is he saying? That speech hosted on Facebook is speech? Well, that's obvious, but also irrelevant. Freedom of speech merely means he can publish it without government interference. Facebook's involvement is irrelevant to whether it's speech. But, if Facebook decide not to host it, his freedom of speech is still intact, as is FB's freedom of association. Bringing Facebook up is a needless distraction unless you're trying to say that speech hosted there should be treated differently to that hosted elsewhere.

              "He isn't saying that's the only place he can speak."

              Then, it's not a problem if they decide to tell him to get off their property if he acts a certain way. He has a right to publish a book. He doesn't have the right to force anyone to stock it on their shelves...

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 8:11am

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

                Then what is he saying?

                I thought I was clear but apparently not. As Dan said in response to one of your other comments:

                You're responding to a point the OP didn't make. OP's point (and, for that matter, the article's) was that my statements on Facebook are my speech, not Facebook's. Any liability resulting from that speech should therefore also be mine, not Facebook's. This had nothing to do with Facebook being required to host any content it doesn't want to.

                That's what he is saying and the point I was trying to make. You and the other AC seem to have misinterpreted what the OP, and myself, was saying.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 11:30am

        Re: Re:

        Limit yourself then AC lol
        Be a conservative lol

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 11:50pm

      Re:

      "Why is it so difficult for people to understand that statement?"

      You assume that people don't understand it. In fact, people understand it perfectly - and also understand rights well enough to understand that it's utter nonsense.

      Whether or not you feel that Facebook is the only place you want to publish your speech, nothing can force them to host it against their will. Find another outlet.

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

      • identicon
        Dan, 25 Jun 2019 @ 12:02am

        Re: Re:

        You're responding to a point the OP didn't make. OP's point (and, for that matter, the article's) was that my statements on Facebook are my speech, not Facebook's. Any liability resulting from that speech should therefore also be mine, not Facebook's. This had nothing to do with Facebook being required to host any content it doesn't want to.

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

    • identicon
      Annonymouse, 25 Jun 2019 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      Thats good sense which is nothing like common sense. Stop equating one with the other.

      There is very little good sense else we wouldn't need the laws and regulations we have to help prevent people, governments and businesses from doing bad and stupid things.

      People are idiots on the whole, else modern marketing wouldn't work the way it does.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:23pm

    Either way, given that the myth that platforms are "targeting" conservatives has some traction, it seems likely that Hawley thought the conservative movement and conservative organizations would likely rush in to support his nonsense bill. It appears he miscalculated.

    Even if the big Internet platforms were suppressing conservative viewpoints (and, it bears repeating, they're not), that still wouldn't mean the government should prevent them from doing so.

    There's a difference between saying "you shouldn't do that" and "you should be legally prohibited from doing that."

    Obeying the Constitution, limiting government interference, and respecting free markets are conservative values. I may not always agree with guys like David French, but I respect their consistency in upholding those values even when it's not convenient or expedient.

    Hawley...well, he represents a different brand of "conservatism" that's rather a lot different from what the word has traditionally meant.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      Hawley...well, he represents a different brand of "conservatism" that's rather a lot different from what the word has traditionally meant.

      I like to call it "preservatism". Technically not true, as they're trying to re-capture some never-existent utopia, but it fits their "movement" as pretty much everything they stand for is technically not true.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 3:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Reactionaryism is the harsher but more accurate term for them. They react to changes and angry about it and pursue a past that never was in reaction.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Jun 2019 @ 7:08am

      Re:

      "Hawley...well, he represents a different brand of "conservatism" that's rather a lot different from what the word has traditionally meant."

      Then again the phenomenon of turning black into white or redefining the dictionary has become increasingly popular in the US since the 50's. Around which time the democrats and republicans more or less switched large parts of their electorate, while still trying to retain their respective pet peeves.

      With predictable results. Jeffersson, Franklin and eisenhower all described themselves as "liberal". An epithet which after decades of misuse has apparently come to mean "baby-eating anarchist" in the eyes of the current party colleagues of the aforementioned worthies.

      Hawley appears to be yet one more career politician attempting to hijack whatever controversy he can grasp and tie it to his personal bandwagon. Can't blame him, given the roaring successes Clinton, GWB and Trump especially had in running successful careers based on smoke and mirrors.

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

  • identicon
    djh_sf, 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:30pm

    what myth?

    what myth are you talking about? Considering there are easy ways to see the bias in the platforms. Even Project Veritas just released a new video, they showed just one way the Google uses its ML to modify results. I believe TimCast showed enough credible evidence on how Twitter and YouTube have been biased. But you go ahead and continue to ignore facts and call them myths. Techdirt is becoming less relevant when you choose a narrative instead of presenting unbiased news and allowing people to decide for themselves.

    As for 203, I disagree with the Josh's approach. Allowing individuals to present proof to a government body to have a website's 203 shield removed. This gives the public a forum, a chance for the company to change, and a deadline before the lawsuits begin. Transparency is the only way.

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    • icon
      Gary (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:36pm

      Re: what myth?

      It's nice to believe in things without facts. But it's called "Religion."
      Citing moderation isn't the same as proof of widespread censorship.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:40pm

      Re: what myth?

      As for 203, I disagree with the Josh's approach. Allowing individuals to present proof to a government body to have a website's 203 shield removed.

      How is anybody able to take your comment seriously when you can't even get section 230 correct?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:16pm

      Re: In this case however I will make an exception

      “As for 203”

      I don’t usually make fun of spelling errors.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:40pm

      Re: what myth?

      what myth are you talking about? Considering there are easy ways to see the bias in the platforms. Even Project Veritas just released a new video, they showed just one way the Google uses its ML to modify results.

      The myth you're attempting to perpetuate by conflating bias-based shaping of results with naturally occurring bias IN the results.

      All results will have bias. Usually, that bias is due to people holding certain viewpoints also having certain methods of communication that are considered socially unacceptable no matter who uses them.

      These systems aren't at fault for the bias; it's the fault of the people attempting to abuse the system, because that's what's actually being filtered. The message being transported is largely ignored.

      It's like saying that mountainsides are biased for donkeys and against elephants. The solution here isn't that the mountainside should be made more elephant-friendly.

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

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re: what myth?

        Apparently all science has a liberal bias since no one on the right can talk to a scientist without screaming, "Conspiracy!"

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re: what myth?

          Vaccines, GMOs. The left has their anti-science wing too. They just choose different things to be nuts about.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:32pm

      Re: what myth?

      As for 203

      Did you mean Copyright Section 203?
      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/203

      Or Common Carrier 203?
      https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/203

      Nice of you to argue for taking away consumer protections.

      A bit off topic though since we are all talking about CDA Section 230 anyway.

      Even Project Veritas just released a new video

      Pfft, stop, you're going to make my drink go up my nose from laughing unexpectedly.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:45pm

      Re: what myth?

      I'm sorry but we publicly encourage critical thinking (and credible sources) here in the TD comment sections

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 5:44pm

      Re: what myth?

      Is this supposed to be a John Smith parody?

      A+ for effort, but far, far too civilized.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 8:41pm

      Re: what myth?

      "Even Project Veritas"

      lol

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Jun 2019 @ 12:00am

      Re: what myth?

      "Considering there are easy ways to see the bias in the platforms."

      They can have whatever bias they want.

      "Project Veritas just released a new video"

      The guys who are known to edit videos to push a right-wing political agenda by misrepresenting what the subjects actually say and do? Whose main tactic is to launch fake "sting" operations to try and goad people into saying and doing things they can then misrepresent as SOP?

      What a surprise that this is the level of "journalism" you wish to defend.

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

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    identicon
    Pudd'nhead, 24 Jun 2019 @ 12:56pm

    Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" views!

    https://www.projectveritas.com/2019/06/24/insider-blows-whistle-exec-reveals-google-plan-to-prevent- trump-situation-in-2020-on-hidden-cam/

    So how long will the Techdirt editorial cabal sit there with eyes closed and fingers in ears droning "La, la, la, I can't hear you?"

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:16pm

      Re: Seriously

      Fuck off nazi scum

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

    • identicon
      Glen, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      Yeah....because that is such a reputable website.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:25pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      So how long will the Techdirt editorial cabal sit there with eyes closed and fingers in ears droning "La, la, la, I can't hear you?"

      Until you come up with something better than fucking Project Veritas.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:43pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      Try finding a source that isn't out to try to make people out as liars, dude...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative"

        lying is an old timey conservative tradition for those veritas boys lol

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

    • identicon
      bob, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:44pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES ... error evidence not found.

      My favorite was the line that conservative news is not always paired with correct news. Of course its not! When you have someone stating something that is a lie I hope it isnt paired with a correct source.

      What I find funniest about this article you listed is how it is not very well written nor are the statements backed up with evidence beyond here is a doc with a screen shot, believe us. The article doesn't explain the context of each claim and document screen shot. Like the search results image, yes if you type "Hillary Clinton emails" no more auto type text appears. But you know what? If you type "Donald Trump emails" the same thing happens. Weird it's almost as if the algorithm knows you want the emails and not other bull crap because you put an -s on the end of the search term word email.

      Too bad the article is very big on smoke and not so big on showing actual fire.

      Are there bias views by personnel in Google? I'm sure there are, just like every major corporation out there will have people of all leanings employed. But if you take things out of context you can make anything good or bad.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 6:54am

        Re: Re: Oops! Google DOES ... error evidence not found.

        "correct news"

        What does this mean? How correct does it have to be in order to be considered correct news? Is it still correct news when contradicted the following day?

        Are you aware that there are multiple sources of news that are much better that that found in google news snippets - right? Or do you simply scan the headlines?

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        • identicon
          bob, 25 Jun 2019 @ 7:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Oops! Google DOES ... error evidence not found.

          I was pulling that term from the crappy source the OP used, though it looks like i mixed up the term. It should have been credible sources not correct news.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Oops! Google DOES ... error evidence not found.

            I would not consider it credible until corroborated by multiple sources, and then only for that story.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:55pm

      Re: Oops! Ignorant motherfucker strikes again!

      Your mental heath has deteriorated quite a bit over the years, if you think linking to projectveritas helps your cause, rather than making you more of a laughing stock than you already are.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Well, I guess your username is accurate since only someone with pudding for brains would likely take that group seriously.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      How long will it take you to realize that most people find your politics abhorrent, and you are mistaking rejection for a conspiracy against your views.

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

    • identicon
      michael, 24 Jun 2019 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      If you use Project Veritas as anything other than obviously made-up propaganda, you've already lost (and made a fool of yourself).

      /educated conservative

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      Let's say, for the sake of argument, you were right. Shouldn't conservatives be up in arms supporting this law that supposedly helps them?

      It's almost like even the target audience of your proposed law knows it's shit...

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 25 Jun 2019 @ 12:01am

      Re: Oops! Google DOES intentionally suppress "conservative" view

      Why are your most treasured sources always well-known liars, thieves and con artists?

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

  • identicon
    Professor Ronny, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:06pm

    Who knew? Conservatives can make sense after all!

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

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 24 Jun 2019 @ 5:54pm

      Re:

      Eh, I don't know about that.

      Senator @HawleyMO thinks conservatives are too stupid to realize he's trying to kill free speech online.

      That's sane, nicely done.

      Like unhinged leftists, he wants gov't to smite those he disagrees with.

      Oh for the love of...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 1:19pm

    Hmm... would this be the same Project Veritas that paid out $100K to settle a lawsuit bought to the Acorn employee that reported their sting operation to the police? Or the one that got caught trying to wiretap a senator's office? Or perhaps the one that got caught trying to trick the Washington Post into posting a false story?

    I think their problem is that they thought Project was a verb.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:05pm

    'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

    Oops, looks like some of the 'poor maligned people' who were supposed to be cheering him on have seen through his (not even remotely) clever trick and spotted the blatantly unconstitutional attempt to give the government control over private companies and violate their free speech and property rights.

    Now, if the politicians involved will follow suit and kill that legal abomination before it has the chance to do some real damage, that'd be great.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:29pm

      Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

      Like I said in the previous thread, I don't expect any bill premised on "Facebook is discriminating against conservatives!" to gain much traction with Democrats.

      There's been bipartisan legislation that succeeded in weakening 230 before, and there could be again. But I don't think this bill is it.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

        Hopefully not, my concern is that they'll see the goal(strip away 230 protections from large companies), and look the other way when it comes to the 'justification' presented for it.

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

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 4:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

          But that seems to me like it's basically the opposite of what happened with FOSTA. Its near-unanimous passage was almost entirely down to the messaging, not its practical result.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 24 Jun 2019 @ 4:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

            Same general idea though, namely 'will this help me to support/pass?' With FOSTA it was beneficial to support it because none of them wanted to be smeared as 'pro-sex trafficking' even if they didn't support the result, whereas with this the justification could take a backseat to the goal of stripping out 230 protections.

            It's entirely possible I'm worrying over nothing and there will be sufficient pushback to kill the bill before it gets anywhere, however at this point my default assumption is that a politician will always consider their own needs/wants first and act accordingly unless presented a strong enough reason not to, and with people on both sides dumping on 230 I imagine it would be mighty tempting to take the bait that is this bill.

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

    • icon
      DNY (profile), 25 Jun 2019 @ 2:16pm

      Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

      Yup. Hawley has not taken the obvious approach of conditioning Section 230 protections on the platform mirroring the First Amendment's free speech/free press (and for that matter freedom of religion) stance, but instead is empowering bureaucrats to judge lack of bias in the political sphere (only).

      Conditioning Section 230 protections on commitment to First Amendment standards does not violate anyone's free speech or property rights, since Section 230 protections are a grant by the government of an unusual protection from liability, which the government can condition on whatever it likes -- anyone (individual or corporation) who wants to control what's on their servers is free to not accept and to control what's on their servers in any way they like.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 25 Jun 2019 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re: 'You shut up when I'm talking for you!'

        Hawley has not taken the obvious approach of conditioning Section 230 protections on the platform mirroring the First Amendment's free speech/free press (and for that matter freedom of religion) stance, but instead is empowering bureaucrats to judge lack of bias in the political sphere (only)

        In fact what he's trying is even worse than that, as he's attempting to create a system where a government agency gets to decide whether or not a platform is 'politically neutral'(which is not a thing), and therefore is covered from liability from what others post on that platform.

        If he was trying to force platforms to be bound by the first the same as the government is that would actually be better than what the bill he's pushing aims to do, and even then it would be an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment.

        Conditioning Section 230 protections on commitment to First Amendment standards does not violate anyone's free speech or property rights,

        Yes, it does, because it's the government telling people that they must allow or disallow certain types of speech in order to gain legal protections, which is a blatant violation of the first amendment.

        If I have a club and some racist losers wander in and start talking about how races not their's are inferior I'm not violating their first amendment rights when I tell them to get out, they're simply being told that they're unwelcome assholes and shown the door. On the other hand if the government steps in and says that I must allow them to stay and speak then that absolutely is a violation of both my first amendment rights of association and my property rights in being able to decide who is and is not allowed to use the club.

        since Section 230 protections are a grant by the government of an unusual protection from liability

        Is a newspaper being given 'unusual protection' if you can't sue them for something defamatory that someone scribbles into the margins?

        Is a book seller/publisher being given 'unusual protection' if you can't sue them for someone slipping an illegal photo in one of their books?

        230 isn't granting 'unusual protections', it's granting online platforms the same protections every other company gets, in that you can't sue the company for what other people using their product/platform do.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 3:11pm

    I think their problem is that they thought Project was a verb.

    Apart from the fact in English, "every noun can be verbed", "project" is a verb (of which "projection" is a very common noun-shaped inflection.)

    Of course, I must leave it to you to construe what action they intend to convey by the word "project" and in what way "veritas" would be its object/goal/victim/whatever. I do this because, um, I'm, like, projecting apathy all over all the gangs involved.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2019 @ 8:20am

      Re:

      Project is both a noun and a verb and thus automatically loses Section 230 protection unless the relevant government agency can determine if it is part-of-speech neutral because it is not third party.

      Or something.

      "Project Veritas", on the other hand, is at least one of:

      • a name of a person, place, or thing and thus a noun per Schoolhouse Rock (1973)
      • an imperative sentence with missing punctuation
      • an example of unconscious irony

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jun 2019 @ 8:44pm

    I was beginning to fear that this sort of eminently sensible conservative thinking had been going extinct. Unfortunately, the loud idiots tend to drown out the sensible people of every stripe, unless you know where to go and find them. (Which, incidentally, is pretty much why i come for the posts and comments here.)

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

    • identicon
      TFG, 25 Jun 2019 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      I'm assuming you're talking about people like David French when you use the words "eminently sensible conservative thinking" as opposed to Hawley and his supporters?

      It's unfortunate that that requires clarification, but loud idiots exist and call each other sensible.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jun 2019 @ 9:19am

    censorship is counterproductive

    It's funny that Google seems to never learn from its own mistakes. Google's policy of nuking numerous politically-oriented YouTube videos (which by some bizarre coincidence always seems to come down hard on the right but never the left) only serves to fan the flames of the raging conspiracy theories. And it certainly doesn't help Google's case that in the latest nuked video, a top Google executive is admitting on hidden camera the same sort of skullduggery that the right-wing "conspiracy theorists" have long accused Google of doing behind closed doors.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mshKOD-WVls (copy)

    Oddly, Youtube's ContentID does not seem to have been deployed to automatically nuke all the copies that keep being uploaded, as it apparently was in the "Drunk Nancy Pelosi" video.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 25 Jun 2019 @ 8:50pm

      Re: censorship is counterproductive

      Funny that you would link to the very intentionally-deceptively-doctored Veritas Video already debunked upthread.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Jun 2019 @ 6:37am

      which by some bizarre coincidence always seems to come down hard on the right but never the left

      $10,000 says I can prove you wrong with a five minute (or less) search to find examples of "leftist" videos falling prey to the almighty Youtube ban-hammer.

      30 seconds later after a quick search on the interwebz

      Oh look, Youtube is banning "leftist" journalists, historians, and kids. PAY UP.

      And it certainly doesn't help Google's case that in the latest nuked video

      You mean the video you just linked to? That nuked video? The one that isn't actually nuked?

      Oddly, Youtube's ContentID does not seem to have been deployed to automatically nuke all the copies that keep being uploaded

      You mean because it's a never ending game of whac-a-mole that NO website of that size can ever hope to win?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 26 Jun 2019 @ 11:54pm

        Re:

        "I can prove you wrong with a five minute (or less) search to find examples of "leftist" videos falling prey to the almighty Youtube ban-hammer."

        You see, the problem is that this guy is stupid enough to think that Project Veritas is a trustworthy source. People that stupid don't tend to do their own research, they're spoon fed.

        The people spoon feeding them have a vested interest in pushing profitable conspiracy theories and fear, so they tell their audience that they are fighting a war where they're the poor oppressed. Then they're taught that the factual sources the average person might stumble across in a normal day are part of the conspiracy. So, they're pushed away from looking for factual information, and are happily fed profitable propaganda.

        This is why instead of people saying "why am I politically allied with white supremacists and domestic terrorists?" when such people get banned from their feed, they believe themselves to be unjust victims. The question is how do we undo this brainwashing before more of them go out and start killing people in real life, as sadly a few already have.

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


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