If You Want To Kill Google And Facebook, Leaving Section 230 Alone Is Your Best Hope

from the enabling-competition dept

We recently released our Don't Shoot The Message Board report, which details, with actual numbers, evidence of how Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has encouraged and enabled a tremendous amount of investment in thousands of internet companies, building up real competition. At the event in Washington, DC, where we announced the paper, one of the questions from the audience focused on whether or not we should remove Section 230 protections from large companies as a way to deal with allegedly anti-competitive actions. The premise, put forth by the questioner, was that Google/Facebook/Amazon have benefited so much from Section 230 that that's why they're now so dominant -- and somehow removing the protections of 230 will somehow create competition.

That's a very strange take, and one that doesn't seem supported by the evidence. Again, as our report showed, having CDA 230 created lots of investment in startups and new internet platform companies. Taking away Section 230 would create a massive liability and regulatory burden, which I'm sure the big internet companies wouldn't like, but which they could obviously handle. Smaller companies? Not so much. Removing CDA 230 would only serve to lock in Google, Facebook and Amazon.

That's why it's good to see a recent paper from law professor Eric Goldman, making exactly this point: Want to Kill Facebook and Google? Preserving Section 230 Is Your Best Hope. The paper is a very quick and easy read and I recommend taking a look. Here's just a brief excerpt:

If the rules of offline publishing applied to the Internet, online republishers would implement effective measures to reduce their exposure for third-party content. Instead, due to Section 230’s immunity, online republishers of third-party content do not have to deploy industrial-grade content filtering or moderation systems, or hire lots of content moderation employees, before launching new startups. This lowers startup costs generally; in particular, it helps these new market entrants avoid making potentially wasted investments in content moderation before they understand their audience’s needs. Accordingly, startups do not need to replicate Google’s or Facebook’s extensive and expensive content moderation operations, nor do they need to raise additional pre-launch capital to defend themselves from business-crippling lawsuits over third-party content.

In a counterfactual world without Section 230’s financial subsidy to online republishers and the competition enabled by that subsidy, the Internet giants would have even more secure marketplace dominance, increased leverage to charge supra-competitive rates, and less incentive to keep innovating. In other words, without Section 230, the marketplace would ossify, and existing legal regulations would help lock in the incumbents.

I take slight issue with the idea that Section 230 represents a "financial subsidy," to internet services. It seems that a more accurate description is that it's a protection against costly, misguided, or frivolous litigation. If that results in an effective "financial subsidy," that's more a black mark on a judicial system that might allow such litigation to waste resources in other contexts, rather than an actual "financial subsidy." Still, the overall paper is worth reading, and highlights the key point that we keep making. Even if you truly hate the big internet companies, removing Section 230 is not the correct way to hinder them. They can withstand such damage better than anyone else.

Filed Under: cda 230, competition, innovation, section 230, social media
Companies: facebook, google


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:42am

    The best hope is no hope?

    Or... make CDA Section 230 applicable only to companies under some revenue cap.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:46am

      Re: The best hope is no hope?

      make CDA Section 230 applicable only to companies under some revenue cap.

      Big company bad, must punish!

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

      • icon
        DiscontentedMajority (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

        Big company bad, must punish!

        No, Big company powerful, must regulate keep in check.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, Big company powerful, must regulate keep in check.

          Double no. Big company powerful, let's users say or not say things government no likey. Must violate First Amendment rights to protect government hurt feelings. Make seem like government do something.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 4:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

          No, Big company powerful, must regulate keep in check.

          Taking away 230 doesn't do that.

          Also, regulating "big companies" tends to mean locking them in as dominant -- and gives them the opportunity to get in good with regulators. So... hey, keep that in mind.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:48am

      Re: The best hope is no hope?

      And what number would you choose for a revenue cap? One just below the lowest revenue among Facebook, Google and Twitter? What a ridiculous notion. Section 230 isn't the problem. Humanity is. And we already have laws on the books to make going after the real culprits possible.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

        Yeah, doesn't look helpful when that shows up in the EU's latest rules.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

        And we already have laws on the books to make going after the real culprits possible.

        No we don't, at least not when the real culprits are in another country.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, yes, actually we do. They're called extradition treaties, but generally they only cover more major crimes. But even still, why do you think it's ok to punish an innocent party for something they didn't do?

          For instance, suppose someone ran over a bunch of people with their car and killed them. Then before he could be arrested, he escaped to another country, let's also say (for the sake of argument) that this country he escaped to either doesn't have extradition treaties with the US or extradition treaties just don't exist at all (since you don't seem to be aware of them).

          Now we have a situation somewhat similar to someone doing bad things but being in a different country and outside the reach of US law enforcement. Should we go arrest the CEO of the car manufacturer that made the car he used to run those people over? There's no difference between that and what you are suggesting.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 2:14pm

          Not a valid excuse and never has been.

          Tough.

          'It's too hard/impossible to do it right' is not an excuse to do it wrong, in this case by blaming someone for actions they didn't do because you can't go after the guilty party.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 6:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

          No we don't, at least not when the real culprits are in another country.

          Again with the "Russian bots said this American doctor is bad" analogy? Fucking seriously, Jhon, get some new material!

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2019 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

          You wish to obey Turkeys' law?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:50am

      Re: The best hope is no hope?

      Why do wish to empower large companies with control over what you can do and say online?

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

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

        Why do wish to empower large companies with control over what you can do and say online?

        This question may have been asnwered best by Google's head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai, who recently stated (in a video that to no one's surprise was instantly banned from YouTube) :

        "Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that."

        "We all got screwed over in 2016 ... so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again."

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7178881/Undercover-video-shows-senior-Google-e xecutive-vowing-prevent-Trump-situation.html

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You mean a video that was recorded secretly, illegally, and without the permission of the people being filmed, that was subsequently heavily edited to take what was said out of context to support a conspiracy theory that has no basis in reality? That video? Gee, I wonder why it was taken down.

          Note that nowhere does it say "prevent Trump from being elected", it just says "the Trump situation". By which they are most likely referring to all the fallout and shenanigans during and after the 2016 election: Russians using social media to try and influence the election; people believing and sharing satire or deliberately false stories as truth, the resurgence of sexism, racism, and hate that Trump has engendered by what he says on social media, etc..., and the subsequent calls FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE for social media to stop it from happening again.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 11:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's a fair point that because those video segments were cherrypicked out of a presumably much longer conversation, viewers can't properly assess the background that lead to those statements. Releasing the entire unedited video would of course help paint a more accurate picture, but this partisan undercover outfit is not known for doing that.

            But having Google/Youtube pull down the video due to a "privacy" issue seems laughable since this happened in a crowded bar or restaurant where there should have been little to no expectatation of privacy.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:45pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Did you not see the part where it is against Youtube's terms of service to post a video of someone who doesn't want to be identified publicly? And the consequences of doing that is you get your video banned? If they had blurred out her face and referred to her as "a high ranking executive at Youtube" (as most respectable news organizations do) then it wouldn't have violated the terms of service and would most likely have been left up.

              The individuals recorded on the video could also easily have issued a DMCA notice, stating that this video was taken without their consent and since it involves their likeness, it is a violation of their rights to have it used in a manner that they did authorize. That pretty much qualifies as an automatic take down.

              Stop trying to insert conspiracy theories where none exist. Just because you are not familiar with how Youtube's terms of use and how the law works, doesn't mean it's a conspiracy.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re: The best hope is no hope?

        Why do wish to empower large companies with control over what you can do and say online?

        They don't. There exists plenty of places where I can do and say things online that aren't controlled by large companies.

        And it's not that they are controlling what you can do and say online, they are basically telling you to come use their services, but if you are going to be an asshole, they don't want you around so the rest of the non-assholes can still enjoy using their service.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 9:50am

      Re: The best hope is no hope?

      The protections offered by the Constitution are free to poor people, but those with certain level of income should pay to get the same!

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:05am

      What happens if a company under that revenue cap suddenly jumps over it? How long of a “grace period” should it get for making changes so it can work without 230 protections — if they even get one at all? And how do you expect that company to work at all if the protections against frivolous lawsuits over the actions of third parties — the protections that let the company flourish — no longer apply?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:07pm

        Re:

        And what happens if a company goes above the revenue cap, and then back under it later? Are Section 230 protections restored? What if their revenue tends to hover around the revenue cap - sometimes over it, sometimes under it? Does their legal protection fluctuate as well from year to year? Would content be immune if it was posted in a low revenue year, but actionable if it was posted in a high revenue year, or would everything on the site be immune (or not) based on the most recent revenue report?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:32pm

        Re:

        How long of a “grace period” should it get for making changes so it can work without 230 protections — if they even get one at all?

        Zero days. Why would there be a grace period? Will the IRS give you a grace period if after years of losing money you suddenly make a huge profit?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re:

          Paying money that you owe and have on hand is not the same thing as suddenly having to hire massive amounts of staff and implement new technology that you weren't already. One is as simple as writing a check, the other requires job postings, interviews, training, deciding whether to produce said technology in-house or buy an already developed product, then there is time to implement and integrate with your environment, troubleshooting, etc...

          Also, paying the IRS money that you owe them under the law is not the same as the government arbitrarily deciding to come in and violate yours and your users' First Amendment rights.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:58pm

          FYI: Profit and revenue are two separate things.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      This is just as stupid as doing away with 230 altogether. This line of thought brings up the following questions:

      1. At what revenue point does a company become "too big" and not eligible for 230 protections?
      2. What incentives are there for smaller companies to grow their businesses if they know they are going to suddenly get hit with liability for stuff their users do if they get "too big".
      3. What incentives are there to start your own business at all if you know that once you get too big you could be sued into oblivion and forced to shut down because of something that someone else did and you had no control over?
      4. As Stephen pointed out, will there be a grace period for companies that suddenly jump up over that threshold to allow them to get the staff and technology in place to handle the increased moderation requirements?
      5. Why should the law only apply to some people and not others? Why should this only protect small companies, why should large companies be held responsible for actions not their own when small companies are not?
      6. What will prevent Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc... from deciding that the potential cost of billions in lawsuits isn't worth it, and decide to just cash out now and shut down all their services?
      7. What makes you think that it's ok for the government to violate the First Amendment rights of individuals and/or companies just because they make a certain amount of money?
      8. Why do you WANT the government to start violating people's First Amendment rights, even if they are insanely rich?
      9. Why do you not understand that the government telling ANYONE (individual or company) what they can and cannot say online is exactly what the First Amendment says they cannot do?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:48am

        Re: Re:

        By the same token, what incentives are there to just not sell out your "competitive business" to one of the big outfits once they take an interest? (If that wasn't your plan all along.) That's a huge issue there, but has nothing to do with 230 and is hardly limited to recent times or what people oddly refer to as "tech".

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 4:37pm

      Re: The best hope is no hope?

      Or... make CDA Section 230 applicable only to companies under some revenue cap.

      This wouldn't work, would cause all sorts of other problems, and honestly makes no sense. It's based on an incorrect premise -- that large companies somehow benefit more from 230 than others.

      Making such a plan first of all makes no sense. Is there any legit reason why mis-targeted liability should magically be applied to companies that make more money? If so, why?

      Second, creating such a random and arbitrary "cap" would create all sorts of unintended consequences, many of which would likely be problematic. We already see lots of system gaming for other types of laws with caps (look at how many companies employ exactly 49 people to avoid the 50 employee trigger for various laws both in the US and elsewhere.

      And then, as others mentioned, figuring out how you deal with going through the threshold in either direction would create quite a mess.

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  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:00am

    The good ole USA

    Life as long as you pay the premiums
    Liberty as long as you pay
    Pursuit of happiness... okay you can chase that illusion. We won't stop you as long as you don't get in the way but pay us anyways.

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  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:10am

    Instead, due to Section 230’s immunity, online republishers of third-party content do not have to deploy industrial-grade content filtering or moderation systems, or hire lots of content moderation employees, before launching new startups. This lowers startup costs generally; in particular, it helps these new market entrants avoid making potentially wasted investments in content moderation before they understand their audience’s needs. Accordingly, startups do not need to replicate Google’s or Facebook’s extensive and expensive content moderation operations, nor do they need to raise additional pre-launch capital to defend themselves from business-crippling lawsuits over third-party content.

    In this way, we can use the damage brought by Articles 13/17 and its mandatory copyright filters as a proxy model for this damage that tampering with 230 would bring.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:22am

    try convincing the fuckers who are only interested in killing 'Section 230', not Google and Facebook!

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 11:51am

    If you have..

    General protections that cover everyone...then everyone is protected. No favoritism..

    Said before and still applicable..

    the internet is a representation of What has already happened in the world.
    USA corps running around the world, trying to pass Laws in other countries AND the USA to match Favoritism..towards themselves..

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    identicon
    Chicken Dinner Road, 8 Jul 2019 @ 12:33pm

    Yes, throw them in that briar patch! That'll fix GOOGLE!

    Sheesh. What a feeble premise. But it's all you have to argue against OBVIOUS solution.

    Main point here is that you clowns keep arguing for what you claim is good solid law supported by courts and which no politician concerned for The Public would change.

    But you've again only claimed that Section 230 is entirely to The Public's good while omitting mention of the power that you claim it gives corporations to contol ALL of The Public's speech and outlets on teh internets.

    As I've said, we agree does some good.

    You then as rabid corporatist go on to claim that it gives total immunity for all content users PUBLISH while not only preserving total editorial control, but explicitly empowering. That's where the disagreement is, sonny.

    It's as though YOU argue the corporatist Nazis were entirely benevolent and inventive, while I'm the one reminding you that "natural" persons suffered.

    BIG IS INHERENTLY BAD. If don't break them up now, are we likely to in future? Your notions definitely in corporatocracy.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:00pm

      Aren’t you the bastard who thinks corporate censorship is wrong and copyright should be respected and enforced to the hilt, but also has no issue with corporations using copyright to censor third-party speech?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:24pm

      Re:

      Main point here is that you clowns keep arguing for what you claim is good solid law supported by courts and which no politician concerned for The Public would change.

      Well, yes, because, you know, it's the law and multiple court cases have ruled on it. How is that not "good solid law supported by courts"?

      omitting mention of the power that you claim it gives corporations to contol ALL of The Public's speech and outlets on teh internets.

      Because it doesn't. It only gives corporations the power to control speech on THEIR platforms. If you don't like it, go use a different platform, or create your own. Your speech is in no way restricted on the internet by Section 230, nor does it allow corporations to control your speech on any and all sites; only the ones they control. Obviously you don't know how the internet works.

      As I've said, we agree does some good.

      Then shut up.

      You then as rabid corporatist go on to claim that it gives total immunity for all content users PUBLISH while not only preserving total editorial control, but explicitly empowering. That's where the disagreement is, sonny.

      There's only disagreement because you don't understand the difference between "closed, walled garden" outlets and open outlets that don't review users or content before they are allowed to use the service. You know, like restaurants and any brick and mortar business, including, but not limited to, convention centers specifically designed to host people's speech.

      It's as though YOU argue the corporatist Nazis were entirely benevolent and inventive, while I'm the one reminding you that "natural" persons suffered.

      You do realize that by making that statement YOU are actually arguing that actual Nazis are entirely benevolent and inventive, right? Because that's who is mostly getting banned from these platforms. And "natural" persons are suffering from allowing their crap to be spewed on said platforms.

      BIG IS INHERENTLY BAD.

      Well, better blow up the earth then since it's bigger than any of the corporations living on it. Better yet, better blow up the sun since its even bigger than the earth. That supernova will wipe out the earth and all the other planets in the solar system too. Come on, what are you waiting for?

      If don't break them up now, are we likely to in future?

      The need to break them up has not been established.

      Your notions definitely in corporatocracy.

      And yours are definitely in the lunacy and idiocy side of the spectrum.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Yes, throw them in that briar patch! That'll fix GOOGLE!

      But you've again only claimed that Section 230 is entirely to The Public's good while omitting mention of the power that you claim it gives corporations to contol ALL of The Public's speech and outlets on teh internets.

      Explain to me how making corporations liable for all speech on their platforms does not result in them controlling all speech?

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

      • identicon
        Rocky, 8 Jul 2019 @ 5:08pm

        Re: Re: Yes, throw them in that briar patch! That'll fix GOOGLE!

        Don't expect an answer, when someone points how illogical his reasoning is he just runs away and refuses to answer. He have used the statement you quoted on numerous occasions, he has so far NEVER defended it when someone rebuts it - that should tell you a bit what kind of dishonest sleaze-bag he is.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:46pm

      Re: Yes, throw them in that briar patch! That'll fix GOOGLE!

      But you've again only claimed that Section 230 is entirely to The Public's good while omitting mention of the power that you claim it gives corporations to contol ALL of The Public's speech and outlets on teh internets.

      Funny, nowhere in the 1st amendment have I seen a right to an audience, only a right to free speech.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:11pm

    "Leaving Section 230 Alone"

    I'd say we should leave it alone after we mend the hole in it made by SESTA / FOSTA, but yeah.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 1:52pm

    Its not a subsidy its common sense , if someone insults you on social media ,or defames you ,sue the person who wrote or made the comment,
    not the platform.
    it would be a great burden on free speech if all websites had to monitor
    comments in real time to see if they might be defamatory or insulting to someone else.
    Section 230 protects all websites, conservative, liberal, and also newspapers
    who have reader comments or a letters section.
    we should learn from fosta ,
    Most websites shut down personal dating ad,s in case they might be
    liable for sex trafficking.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 2:10pm

    The probolem with the bill that eliminiates 230 proections unless site cease all moderation is that Congress will also have to pass a law saying that foreign entitiees, particularly the EU, cannot enforce their laws here.

    Congress will have pass a bills outlawing all cooperation with foreign governments on Internet content, as long as no US laws were broken.

    With GPDR, the copyright directive, and the EU rule on terrorist content, and France's "hate speech", such a law will have to passed, so that websites in the USA are not caught in the middle on this.

    Just pass a law banning cooperation with foreign governments on matters of Internet content, as long as no U.S. laws are broken

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jul 2019 @ 2:36pm

      Re:

      The probolem with the bill that eliminiates 230 proections unless site cease all moderation is that Congress will also have to pass a law saying that foreign entitiees, particularly the EU, cannot enforce their laws here.

      Uh, that's kind of nonsense. That's already generally recognized as a thing, and common sense since, you know, American citizens don't have to abide by foreign laws in the US.

      NO country can enforce it's laws in any other country unless that other country decides to allow it, and the US does not allow it.

      With GPDR, the copyright directive, and the EU rule on terrorist content, and France's "hate speech", such a law will have to passed, so that websites in the USA are not caught in the middle on this.

      That's not actually how this works. If a company has a physical presence in another country, they are technically required to follow their laws. A new law in the US saying other countries can't enforce their laws on US companies is just as useless as a foreign country passing a law that says Americans can no longer drive faster 5 MPH.

      It does get complicated in this situation but it's still possible to "thread the needle" so to speak. There's no need for a new law. If the EU wants content taken down on Youtube, Youtube can block it for EU customers and leave it up for the rest of the world. For Facebook, if the account in question belongs to an EU resident, they'll probably have to take it down, but anyone else they can tell the EU to pound sand.

      Just pass a law banning cooperation with foreign governments on matters of Internet content, as long as no U.S. laws are broken

      As explained, this really isn't necessary, plus it would essentially be the US trying to enforce ITS laws on every other nation, which is exactly what we don't want them to do to us; if such a thing were to even be a thing in the real world.

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  • icon
    Zof (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 10:22pm

    So This Is Great For Companies

    And bad for consumers.

    "I take slight issue with the idea that Section 230 represents a "financial subsidy," to internet services. It seems that a more accurate description is that it's a protection against costly, misguided, or frivolous litigation."

    Screw the consumer. Protect the rich companies. Can we get the story redone by someone that sides with people?

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Jul 2019 @ 11:27pm

      230 protects anyone who runs an interactive web service — from the mighty Google to a person who owns and operates a Mastodon instance, and everyone in between. It places legal liability for third-party speech on those responsible for it: the person(s) who posted the speech.

      If I were to post a death threat on Twitter…well, I would be a dumbass to do so, but I would also be the one held responsible for it in a court of law. Twitter didn’t force me to post the threat. No Twitter employee approved the threat before it went live. For what reason should anyone at Twitter face any legal bullshit because of the threat I made?

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

      • icon
        Mike Masnick (profile), 9 Jul 2019 @ 4:42pm

        Re:

        230 protects anyone who runs an interactive web service — from the mighty Google to a person who owns and operates a Mastodon instance, and everyone in between. It places legal liability for third-party speech on those responsible for it: the person(s) who posted the speech.

        Correction: Section 230 not only protects anyone who runs an interactve web service, it also protects the users of that web service:

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

        Note the "or user" part.

        Zof is, once again, wholly misinformed.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2019 @ 6:11am

      Re:

      Can we get your comment re-done by someone who actually knows what they're talking about? If you're so sure about your position, I'm sure you wouldn't mind actually posting WHY it's bad for consumers, instead of just slinging insults?

      Section 230 protects both companies AND individuals. How is this so incredibly hard for you to understand?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2019 @ 7:33am

      Re: So This Is Great For Companies

      Zof is nothing but an idiot and a liar. Best to flag and move on. At least he has an account so it's easy to spot which posts to flag.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2019 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re:

        I could understand if he was a straight up troll account, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

        In his case, a little public shame and humiliation is in order, in addition to flagging.

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


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