Josh Hawley Wants To Appoint Himself Product Manager For The Internet

from the hawley-knows-best dept

Say what you want about Senator Josh Hawley -- and we've said a lot -- but you do have to give him credit for actually proposing bills to respond to all of the problems he sees with internet companies these days. Of course, he sees their very existence as one of the problems, so the bills seem mostly nonsensical. His latest -- the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology Act (yeah, yeah, the SMART Act) -- is only marginally less crazy than his last bill to strip internet companies of Section 230 protections, unless they agree to allow Nazis to speak.

It's... weird. It basically seems to be Congress (via Hawley) appointing itself as the new product manager for all internet services. It's taking what is a potentially reasonable concern that certain activities on various internet platforms may lead to addictive behaviors and then assuming that Congress must ban them, outright -- as well as take proactive steps to limit access to much of the internet. I'm assuming that noted Constitutional lawyer Josh Hawley will next propose a bill banning alcohol, cigarettes, TV binging, professional sports, books, and anything else engrossing in the future. Again, there are legitimate concerns about how the internet impacts people, but we're still in the very early days of understanding (1) what those issues are and how they're dealt with and (2) how society can and should respond to those things. And yet, this bill acts as if it's well established that a few very specific technology features are de facto evil and must be banned. Among them:

  1. Infinite scroll
  2. A lack of natural stopping points
  3. Autoplay music and video
  4. Badges that reward certain behavior (i.e., gamification)
First off, I probably agree with many of you in thinking that much of the above list is fucking annoying. I'm annoyed by infinite scroll. It's why we don't have it on Techdirt, even though tons of other sites do. But, how in the world does it make sense for Congress to step in and literally make design choices for the entire internet?

Also, autoplay ads are crazy annoy... wait, what's this?

AUTOPLAY.—The use of a process that automatically plays music or videos (other than advertisements) without an express, separate prompt by the user (such as pushing a button or clicking an icon)

Emphasis very much added. Got that? Autoplay advertisements are exempted. This is basically entirely targeted at YouTube and the fact that when one video finishes, another will start playing automatically. I do find that practice marginally annoying, but there's a giant switch at the top of the page that lets you turn it off, and once you turn it off once, it stays off, so, uh...? But, really, the exempting of advertising is quite amazing. Apparently Josh Hawley thinks that internet companies are bad for trying to addict you, but advertisers? Oh, no. They're pure as the driven snow...

If I'm reading this correctly, it could ban Techdirt's existing commenting feature in which we put badges on comments that have been voted "funny" or "insightful" by the community. Because that's evil. How dare we incentivize our commenters to be funny or insightful! An outrage! Here's the language in the bill:

BADGES AND OTHER AWARDS LINKED TO ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PLATFORM.—Providing a user with an award for engaging with the social media platform (such as a badge or other recognition of a user’s level of engagement with the platform) if such award does not substantially increase access to new or additional services, content, or functionality.

That is listed under "Prohibited Practices," though it's possible we might skate by, as we may not qualify as a "social media service" under the bill (it defines social media services as sites that "primarily serve as a medium for users to interact with content generated by other third-party users"). I'd argue that's not our "primary" business right now, but it's at least a bit fuzzy -- especially as we're, at this very moment, thinking about ways to improve our commenting features, and if this became law, we'd have to be very concerned that at some point we'd accidentally cross the nebulous border into a realm in which our "primary" business involved hosting user comments. Given that, it would certainly create a massive chilling effect on the features we're already working on implementing for you guys.

Of course, that's only if this bill had half a chance in hell of becoming law and not being tossed out as unconstitutional.

The bill also requires any "social media company" to add a bunch of features. Again, some of these features are probably good ideas, just not good ideas that should be required by law. Among the mandated features: a tool that users can use to set time limits on the platform, an opt-out rule that, by default, limits the use of any services to 30 minutes per day, and a regular counter of how much time you've spent on the site. So, if we were deemed to be "primarily" in the social media business, and you're reading Techdirt for more than 30 minutes, sorry folks, but I'll need to cut you off (and re-set the limit on the first of every month, even if you opt out). Yes, that's right -- even if people opt out of the 30 minute limit, this bill would require it be turned back on, on the 1st of every month. So paternalistic. And, apparently, I'll magically have to build such tools into my site.

Remember, of course, that Josh Hawley's major claim to fame was that he was the lawyer that represented Hobby Lobby in allowing it to ignore federal laws that it felt violated the religious sensibilities of its owners. I wonder, if we start a religion that worships the infinite scroll and gamification badges, will Hawley let us have an exemption from this law?

Believe it or not, there's even more in the bill, including requiring websites to have a "neutral presentation," banning "pre-selected" options, and having the FTC report to Congress about how internet companies are "exploiting human psychology."

There may be bad things about how internet platforms are run. There may be problems with certain implementations and the impact they have on society, but a blanket ban on stuff, just because Hawley has decided it's bad, seems kinda crazy. Whatever happened to the Republican party position of getting government out of regulating businesses? This is not just regulating businesses, it's literally getting down to the product/feature decision level for no obvious reason other than Hawley's personal animus.

Filed Under: addiction, autoplay, badges, infinite scroll, internet, josh hawley, social media, time limits
Companies: facebook, google, twitter


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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 11:56am

    I agree that autoplay video ads are incredibly annoying. Techdirt's ad reporting form even has them as a specific category of bad behavior.

    Now that we're all in agreement, can we please finally get rid of the Bloomberg videos? "Featured" or not, they're still autoplaying video ads and nobody wants them around.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      Well we're not all in agreement about autoplay video ads - not Hawley, anyway.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Nope. Hawley says autoplay video ads are good.

        Maybe next he'll MANDATE them.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then people will use adblockers, or their firewall, to block them.

          When I ran my online radio station, and had filtering and ad blocking on station computers, the vendor I purchased my filtering software from was in the Czech Republic.

          So even if he got a law passed that said that blocking of mandatory video ads could not be put in by ad blockers. the software maker in the Czech Republic would not be suject to US laws. They only have to obey Czech and EU laws.

          That is why any law against ad blockers in the USA would never work. All the vendors of filtering software with adblocking capabilities are all outside the United States, so US laws would not apply to them.

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

          • icon
            Avatar28 (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:22pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Then they just make it illegal to use or distribute them in the US. Sure, you could probably side-load something but say goodbye to them being available as plug-ins from the Chrome Store or whatever.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then I will just ignore the law and use them anyway

              And any LEO who comes to arrest me for that will lying on my living room floor with teeth missing after after I resist arrest by by slugging him.

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:34pm

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

                Keep an updated will handy and a very good lawyer on retainer for when you get shot resisting arrest and assaulting a cop.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 7:55pm

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

                  That is assuming I did not break into computers first and erase the warrants for my arresst.

                  Arrest warrants are all on computers. If I knew there was a warrant out on me for illegally using an ad blocker, if they do make it a criminal offense, I would break into their computers and erase that warrant to avoid arrrest.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:09pm

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

                    Of course, I would use a VPN to hide my IP address when downloading and using such software, if they did make it illegal, so I could not be traced.'

                    I would merely use true no-log VPN, so that I could never be traced downloading or using ad blockers.

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

                  • icon
                    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:13pm

                    'We were going to arrest you for A, now it's A, B, C, D, E...'

                    I can only assume you've never gotten a splinter or paper cut, given the 'things can always be escalated' mindset would see you cutting fingers off left and right(literally and figuratively).

                    Well, that or you're posting via a speech-to-text software I suppose...

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:54pm

                      Re: 'We were going to arrest you for A, now it's A, B, C, D, E..

                      Then you post bail and flee the cuontry. If they demand you hand over your passport, you just ignore them.

                      If they put one of these ankle bracelets on you, there are jammers that can take care of that, and they will lose all contact with the ankle bracelt.

                      All you have to do is to be able to jam 1x, 2g, 3g, 4g, 5g, WiFi and Wimax and you knock the ankle braclet off the Internet, by jamming the built in wiressless modem.

                      That would allow me to cut it off, then "nuke" it the microwave oven. The microwaves would destroy the circutry and put the ankle bracelet out of commission, peramenently

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:19pm

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

                Even if they do make it illegal, I doubt it they make it a felony crime for the users. If they did, there would not be enough jails to hold them all.

                It will likely, if they do, be only for those who do it for some kind of financial gain, limiting felony charges to those who distibute it for money.

                That is why DMCA 1201 was crafted the way it was. By requiring that is be for some kind of financial gain, that limits the law who distribute the tools, by requiring that you be doing it to make money.

                Otherwise, theere would not be enough room in the jails for them all.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:33am

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

                Threatening to slug law enforcement will get you arrested a lot quicker than using adblockers!

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:19am

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

                  Arrested? Shot.

                  And the cop gets a medal.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:36am

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

                  Then I all gotta do is have a fast car and a radio jammer if adblock usage ever does become a criminal offense. If they come to arrest me for adblock usage I just get in my car and take off and then turn on the jammer so pushing cops cannot call for backup because their radios are being jammed

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 2:04pm

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

                  That is assuming I did not first break into law enforcement databases a d erase the warrants for my arrest if I knew there was one

                  While I may talk resisting law enforcement, I would only do that as a last resort. T

                  I prefer to do it electronically and erase the warrants from their computers if they do make ad blocking a criminal offense for users

                  Warrants are all on computers now, so once it is erased, that is the end of it.

                  I.am also posting this from a KFC wifi that has a good enough signal where I can connect from far enough away where their cameras will not see me, so I'm not worried about being traced.

                  Also if my phone is ever seized by law enforcement, I can sign on to find my android and send the command to wipe my phone

                  On my phone, I have it set where you cannot turn the phone off without a password, so any LEO who did ever seize my phone for any reason would not be able to turn it off.

                  It is good protection because you never know when an. LEO will make up a reason to seize your phone.

                  This way, anything I don't know about on my phone that could land me in jail is erased once I send the command to reset and wipe

                  With that kind of reset, the phone cannot be set up again without knowing my Google password, so the phone would be inaceesibe to to any LEO and would just be an expensive paperweight on his desk.

                  Android 6 and up has it where if either a "hard" reset is done, or if the command to wipe the phone is sent, the phone is bricked until you enter the password of the Google account associated with, so you can di that to lock out any LEO who seizes your phone

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

                  • icon
                    TaboToka (profile), 1 Aug 2019 @ 6:06am

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

                    That is assuming I did not first break into law enforcement databases a d [sic] erase the warrants for my arrest if I knew there was one

                    I wish to subscribe to your newsletter, please.

                    Also, I understand "law enforcement databases" are actually just a single MS Access running on a Dell Inspiron 530 with Windows Vista, so if you just wait, it will erase itself.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 6:08pm

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

                      Server level databaes, such as Oracle and the open source variants it was forked into after Oracle quit making its database software have one flaw

                      They don't keep logs.

                      They also have to be exposed to the Internet if several redundant sites all have to access it.

                      One could break into the SQL database directly and use the SQL language.

                      I know this because 10 years ago when I had my online radio station, one problem user, after I finally locked out of my website, broke in to the SQL database to access my site.

                      Because mysql does not keep logs there would have been no way to prove it was him

                      Because I had backup servers in two locations worldwide, mysql had to be exposed to the Internet for.my site to work.

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

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2019 @ 2:46pm

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

                        Because mysql does not keep logs there would have been no way to prove it was him

                        It depends on what logging you enable. Also, there are other logs created on systems, like network logging.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 10:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If the vendors are not in the US, they don't have to obey US laws.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              However, you could still block them at the firewall level.

              They will never outlaw firewalls.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Without an international treaty, such law would be against the first amedment, since software is a form of free speech.

              The one exception is DMCA 1201, making it a crime to distribute tools to break copy protection, if done for the purpose of making money.

              Since the WIPO treaty requires that such a law be passed, it does violate the consitution.

              That is why the WIPO treaty crafted the way it was. It was designed to allow laws like DMCA 1201 that would otherwise be unconstutional

              That is why TPP and ACTA were crafted the way they were. They were crafted to allow for laws that would otherwise not pass constitutional muster. If a treaty REQUIRES that a certain law be passed, then Congress is given license to piss on the constitution in passing such a law.

              If TPP or ACTA had ever been ratified, Congress would have been allowed to disregard the constitution in implementing either.

              International treaties do override the constitution, so DMCA 1201 is constitutional, but a law against ad blockers would not pass constitutional muster.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:38pm

      Re:

      That is what ad blockers are for. I do not like having to, say, watch two ads in a row, before a YouTube video.

      Such ad blockers are nice so that if I have friends over and if I want to put on a movie, say, on primwire, I can knock out the video ad for Pornhub they try and make you watch before before you movie starts. I do NOT want to offend my guests, so I knock out Primewire's current video ad for Pornhub, by using AdBlock. If Primewire does not like the fact that I block their video ads, they can just go to hell.

      What Primewire has been doing is putting their movies on Openload, and put them inside a frane to both stop you from stream ripping, and to try and force you to watch their video ads, which I see as time wasters.

      That must drive the MAFFIA crazy, since that also keeps them from finding out where, on Openload, that movie is stored. I am pretty sure they do not like the fact that cannot send a DMCA notice, since they don't know the URL on Primewire for that.

      AdBlock is pretty well hardened against that video ad, but AdClear, on my cell phone, is not

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 1:17pm

        Re: Re:

        That is what ad blockers are for. I do not like having to, say, watch two ads in a row, before a YouTube video.

        Lately I've been getting ads in the middle of my YouTube videos. And it's not even done gracefully like on TV. It literally cuts someone off mid-sentence and starts playing a car ad or something, then picks up with the rest of the sentence when it ends.

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

  • icon
    ysth (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:17pm

    Autoplay and addiction

    I don't think autoplay is opt out rather than in to addict people, I think it is to serve one more ad than videos you watch.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:20pm

    "BADGES AND OTHER AWARDS LINKED TO ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PLATFORM.—Providing a user with an award for engaging with the social media platform (such as a badge or other recognition of a user’s level of engagement with the platform) if such award does not substantially increase access to new or additional services, content, or functionality."

    So badges as a reward are bad, but increasing access to additional services, content, or functionality as a reward is perfectly fine and not addicting?

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:22pm

    Perhaps this latest basket 'o' stupid from Hawley is an attempt to make his malicious gaslighting and attempted tampering with CDA 230 appear more palatable by cimparison.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:23pm

    His constituents need to infinite scroll Senator Hawley right out of off office.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:28pm

    Law of intended consequences

    So, if i get this right, YouTube cannot autoplay suggested videos after the one you just watched, but could fill that awkward silence after the end of the video with a continuous stream of adds.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:45pm

    I wonder, if we start a religion that worships the infinite scroll and gamification badges, will Hawley let us have an exemption from this law?

    I bet if we look through the ancient texts that we will find that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster already has teachings about these features. After all, one person's "infinite scroll" is another's "Never-Ending Pasta Bowl".

    So, you may not need to start a new religion, but merely look to the heavens for inspiration, optionally with grated Parmesan.

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

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 12:58pm

    how in the world does it make sense for Congress to step in and literally make design choices for the entire internet?

    Oh, that’s easy: It doesn’t. But that won’t stop Congress from trying anyway.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:00pm

    If we can make these rules only apply to website vistors who voted for Josh Hawley at his last election, then yeah it's actually probably a great idea (sans the total technical infeasiblity of some of it)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:42am

      Re:

      Wouldn't it be nice to actually see the vote tallies for that election? Does anyone know who counted all those votes?

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

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:14pm

    Free Peaches

    How in the world could anyone think this would pass constitutional muster?

    Then again...

    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/744909500/south-dakota-public-schools-add-in-god-we-trust-si gns-to-walls

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

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:47pm

      Re: Free Peaches

      Nothing in the Constitution prevents religiously based messages in schools. Especially ones this generic that clearly do not specify any individual religion, only a generic religious belief.

      There are some laws that have been passed since the Constitution that do this, but this has generally been recognized as an issue States are primarily responsible for.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Separation of Church and State, yes - it is a real thing with a long history.

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

      • identicon
        cpt kangarooski, 30 Jul 2019 @ 3:13pm

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        It violates the establishment clause

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 4:44pm

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Please, you're not fooling anyone if you honestly thing that the 'god' in 'in god we trust' in a primarily christian nation isn't intended to mean a specific one.

        But alright, if you think public schools should be allowed to officially add in religious language, time for the Turnabout Is Fair Play test: Does your opinion change if the wording changes to 'In Allah We Trust'? Same general idea(school posting religious message), the only thing that changed is that they were honest enough to admit it, and it's not the christian religion.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 6:07pm

        In American public schools, students can offer their own religious messages of their own volition, but staff cannot. Judicial rulings vis-á-vis the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment says government employees cannot endorse a specific religion or religious belief, nor can they force others to do so.

        While “In God We Trust” may be the motto of the United States, it was only made such within the past century, and only because of the Red Scare. The only reason it lives on despite the First Amendment is because members of the country’s primary religion see no problem with that. But as another commenter pointed out, change “God” to the specific name of another religion’s ruling deity, and the pretense falls. You also have to consider people who are atheists of some sort. How does making them endorse a message of trusting any religion’s deity, let alone the majority religion’s deity, not violate the First Amendment?

        Getting “In God We Trust” signs into public schools is part of Project Blitz, by the by. While they may say the purpose of those signs is secular because “it’s the national motto”, that is a pretense. The real goal is to force religious beliefs and teachings — specifically, those associated with Christianity, and conservative Christianity/dominionism in particular — into secular institutions (e.g., public schools) and the law despite the First Amendment-guided principle of “separation of church and state”.

        You can call this a “state’s rights” issue all you want. That doesn’t make it one. The fact that a government institution is forcing a religious statement from a specific religion¹ upon everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs, makes it a constitutional issue. It should be dealt with accordingly.


        ¹ — Show me how “In God We Trust” isn’t an endorsement of Christianity when the majority of Americans identify as Christians and changing “God” to any other deity would render the phrase so explicitly religious that no one could ignore it, and I’ll concede this point.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:29am

          Re:

          The fact that you're trusting in a "god" is bad enough, as it shows that the message has a religious nature.

          The name doesn't matter much, you're claiming a god exists, and that means that you're favoring religions that believe in the existence of a higher being (most). Atheism, Agnosticism and Kopimism can go fuck themselves, I guess. And Jedis too.

          Of course, the fact that the Christianity's god's name is God is not a mere coincidence, I guess.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:38am

            Re: Re:

            Well, I'm not sure about Agnostics, as those just don't think you can prove or disprove the existence of a god.

            But you're getting a lot of guys with lightsabers angry. And they read your mind too.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:11am

          Re:

          "because of the Red Scare"

          Well, that sure saved us huh .... oh, wait a second

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 9:57pm

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        One clown I argue with in Usenet newsgroups thinks that the Constition does prevent such messages in schools, when it does not.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 10:24pm

          The First Amendment prevents government employees from presenting, endorsing, or encouraging students to spread religious messages in public schools. It does nothing to stop students from doing it themselves of their own accord. The same goes for prayer in schools: Students can pray all they want, but the staff can’t make students pray.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:49am

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Doesn't Congress begin sessions with a prayer? Shouldn't THAT be illegal. They have a clergy person recite something and that crosses the line of separation of church and state (fed)??

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Free Peaches

          No, not illegal, unless there is a law (a rule passed by a legislative body) that says that praying that way is illegal.

          Unconstitutional maybe and I guess that's up to the interpretation of the Supreme Court (I'm guessing here that it's the SCOTUS the one who reviews the Constitutionality of laws and other acts).

          It wouldn't go against a law but against the Constitution itself, that makes it worse.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:41am

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Especially ones this generic that clearly do not specify any individual religion, only a generic religious belief.

        And by "generic" you mean one that believes in a deity. There are atheists out there like myself that think any generic belief in a deity is the functional equivalent of adults believing in santa claus. Why should atheists be forced through their tax dollars to pay for some "feel good" message for delusional adults?

        For that matter, if churches would like to interject into politics, they could always stop being freeloaders and pay taxes like the rest of us. Wouldn't promoting generic god bullshit fall under socialism if atheists are being forced to pay for it, while churches get services like this for free?

        Isn't socialism bad?

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

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:34am

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Nothing in the Constitution prevents religiously based messages in schools.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engel_v._Vitale

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

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 1:20pm

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Nothing in the Constitution prevents religiously based messages in schools. Especially ones this generic that clearly do not specify any individual religion, only a generic religious belief.

        Um... yeah, it does. Atheists have as much right to be free from government proselytizing as anyone else.

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

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 10:21am

      Re: Free Peaches

      "Passing constitutional muster"? That's for the courts to decide. For now, bored, we-have-nothing-better-to-do politicians will pass "we have to do something!!!" bills just to make a name for themselves. They don't care if the bill is unconstitutional since no one else cares. Seriously- when was the last time you read about a court decision that ruled a law was unconstitutional? Okay, there are a few out there. But who was the original author of the bill? Did anyone go back to him or her and say "we told you it was unconstitutional when you wrote it!"
      And of course, how much time and money will be spend arguing this case in court?

      On the other hand, maybe everyone involved does know that the bill will never stand up, but look how much media coverage and attention he's getting!

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

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: Free Peaches

        Seriously- when was the last time you read about a court decision that ruled a law was unconstitutional?

        ...every year in June, when the Supreme Court term ends...?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:15pm

    This law sounds like it was created in china or russia,
    does america really need a senator to decide the format and presentation
    of websites or social media service,s
    what happened to free speech ?
    Will neutral websites have to ban users who are rude or insult politicians , or other people ,
    Maybe america needs basic laws on privacy ,and data base security
    all data bases should use strong passwords,
    user data should be encrypted , no passwords should be stored in plain txt,
    It seems every month theres another big hack with millions
    of user accounts left exposed using simple hacking techniques ,
    in many case,s the data base have weak security ,
    with not even basic security procedures being followed
    to secure user data .
    The 30 minute rules is patronising ,if someone wants to spend an hour on facebook, so what ,big deal,its their choice .

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

  • icon
    alanbleiweiss (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:33pm

    I knew it!

    I knew it! I knew Techdirt was evil for gamification! Finally. Proof. Now, where's that video I was working on about the moon landing being faked (50th anniversary edition)? I need to update it to include this proof about TechDirt!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:39pm

    Hawley is very much like the parent that is over-protective

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 1:46pm

    When you ask whether you fall under this law or not, the question is whether Techdirt is in the United States.

    Two very popular figure skating sites, for example, GoldenSkate in Canada, and Figure Skating Universe, in Britain, are not subject to any US laws, so this law would not apply to them.

    GoldenSkate only has to obey Canadian laws, and Figure Skating Universe only has to obey British laws, so the will not be subject to Hawley's bill, if it passes.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      In general I agree with you that a Canadian website should be able to ignore US law, but in practice that's not always the case. The owner of a Canadian site can be sued in US court for breaking US law if a US resident viewed the site on their computer. Now, even if the Canadian site owner is found in violation, enforcing a US judgment in Canada is where the difficulty lies... unless they've got property or bank accounts in the US. So, when you ask whether or not a particular international law "applies" to a party, what you really need to be asking is, "Does that party have any seize-able assets in the country where the law exists?"

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re:

        Add to that question if "does that party, or its users, use VISA, MasterCard or services like Paypal"?

        Remember the "follow the money" approach?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Then these sites can start taking payments with bitcoin

          That is how some gambling sites get around the federal ban on online casinos and sports books regarding us players.

          One of my neighbors had a roommate who played online poker using bitcoin to place bets, circumventing 2008 federal law.

          By taking bets with bitcoin, the poker site does not know whether the bettor is American or not.

          That makes that poker site not subject to us prosecution because of the decentralized nature of bitcoin.

          Online casinos and sports books have gotten smart on this.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 5:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And that's why I asked "it's users" too.

            There are a lot of businesses that would go down because they are denied mainstream payment tools.

            Not everyone wants to bother with BTCs.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:15pm

    Believe it or not, there's even more in the bill, including [..] banning "pre-selected" options, and having the FTC report to Congress about how internet companies are "exploiting human psychology."

    That's the only part that seems almost sane. "Pre-selected options" could be considered an unfair trade practice, if (1) trade is actually occurring, unlike most social media sites and (2) they're "exploiting psychology" to trick people into agreeing to something they ordinarily wouldn't. And the FTC would have jurisdiction over that.

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

    • identicon
      nae such, 2 Aug 2019 @ 12:33pm

      Re: some kind of sanity

      preselected options are a convenience feature. surely they can confuse those in a hurry, but its just as easy to have a checkbox unselected for not the default. making it the default. on a case by case basis they could be unfair options, but not all of them. while i'm all for not 'exploiting psychology' it is a core philosophy of physical sales so targeting it just on online practices seems a little off.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:20pm

    This will just cause Google and other social media platforms to just pack up and leave the United States, rendering that law unenforceable.

    If you own any property in Silocon Valley or the Seattle area, you better sell now, before property values drop after Big Tech leaves this country to avoid this new law.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 2:59pm

    Any realistic chance of this mess becoming law?

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

    • icon
      Oninoshiko (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 4:49pm

      Re:

      No. Even if it did, it wouldn't pass the 1A sniff-test.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Underestimate the willingness of politicians to do whatever it takes to score cheap PR points at your own risk. The odds probably aren't good but they also aren't zero, and should it pass it would require the courts to strike it down, a lengthy process that would leave plenty of time for damage to be done until it was struck down.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Everything has a chance at something
          What percentage of passage do you give this law?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The chance that courts will strike it down is exceedingly narrow as per what we've seen lately.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's if they strike it down.

          Judges aren't always completely loyal to Law and Justice. They seem to have a lot of mistresses whose surname is "Dollar".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 9:54pm

      Re:

      The way its written now, I dont think so, because of sites would not be able to comply with the EU copyright directive, or other directives, without breaking US laws.

      If this does become law, look for sites to leave the USA in order to avoid conflict between US and EU laws. If, say, Google, is no longer in the United States, they would not have to obey this law.

      Just like DailyMotion. Even though it would be social media under this law, because they are in Paris, France, they ONLY have to obey French and EU laws.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        Just like DailyMotion. Even though it would be social media under this law, because they are in Paris, France, they ONLY have to obey French and EU laws.

        Unless they have servers in the US, in which case the US believes their laws apply, just ask Kim Dotcom about how that goes, complete with US style armed raid.

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

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 4:35pm

    Hawley knows none of his horrendous ideas will get passed even if the Republicans manage to retake both houses somehow. This is basically a pitch to set himself up as Josh Hawley: Internet 'expert' lawyer/lobbyist when he's voted out of office, no doubt planning to soak up right wing billionaire money, attacking internet companies in states without SLAPP laws to get criticism removed, or to attempt to force them to host hate speech.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 7:58pm

      Re:

      We all hope this bill does not get passed, but recently I would not put it past this horrendous bunch to allow it to pass.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:47am

        Re: Re:

        Many articles are saying the chances aren’t very high.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Re:he’s a follower not a leader

          He’s a showboating Liar and just by the look of him he could not get get his dog to listen to him.
          So you may be correct hopefully.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 10:38pm

      Re:

      There are three different factions in the Republican Party. There are the neocons, who want stuff like that passed, as well as the Christian extreimsts, then there is the Libertarian wing of the party, like Reagan or Trump.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      Doesn't he know that that job is already taken by Charles Carreon?

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:36am

      Re:

      I think you're mistaken. I think Hawley's a true believer, and a very dangerous man.

      As for "when he's voted out of office" -- it'd have to be in a primary. What, you think Missouri's going to elect a Democrat?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 4:57pm

    How can someone so stupid get a job like this, one that needs brains as well as common sense? I find it unbelievable that a large portion of the country and all the people, businesses and wildlife associated with the area in question can be put into such jeopody by voters. Was there really no one else to vote for at the time?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:11pm

    'Look, I have zero self-control, so clearly everyone does too.'

    Ah good old feamongering control-freaks, politics would be ever so boring without them...

    Remember, of course, that Josh Hawley's major claim to fame was that he was the lawyer that represented Hobby Lobby in allowing it to ignore federal laws that it felt violated the religious sensibilities of its owners.

    Beyond pointing out how monumentally stupid and lazy he thinks the american public are in that they apparently can't understand something as simple as 'flip this switch to turn off auto-play' and 'if you don't want your kids to spend so much time on Facebook be a gorram parent', you gotta love his blatant hypocrisy here. When it comes to a company's religious views then the government has no business interfering, but take religion out of the question and suddenly the government should be able to micro-manage things even to the point of mandating opt-out time limits and offering achievements for actions.

    Believe it or not, there's even more in the bill, including requiring websites to have a "neutral presentation,"

    Trying to slip through mandatory 'neutrality' again I see.

    banning "pre-selected" options, and having the FTC report to Congress about how internet companies are "exploiting human psychology."

    I mean, not all of them apparently, as ad companies are explicitly excluded from the bill's ban on autoplay...

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

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:17pm

    ...his last bill to strip internet companies of Section 230 protections, unless they agree to allow Nazis to speak.

    That should read:

    ...his last bill to strip internet companies of Section 230 protections, unless they agree to allow everyone to speak, regardless of viewpoint.

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

    • identicon
      Coward anon, 30 Jul 2019 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      John, as we’ve all been reminded constantly the 1st amendment does NOT apply to private businesses. As owner of a web site I can ban Nazi speech, Muslim speech, or Flying Spatgetti Monster speech. Don’t like it, don’t visit. We all know that the first quote was what was meant regardless of whether it was Nazi or white supremacy or any sort of conservative speech. He wasn’t trying to protect AOC’s right to speak.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 6:11pm

      In re: your “regardless of viewpoint” bullshit.

      Discussion of White supremacy is “political discourse”. A platform that disallows White supremacists from presenting their side of the discourse would be “non-neutral”. For what reason should the law force a platform to host White supremacist propaganda?

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 6:21pm

      Re:

      John, why shouldn't Twitter have the Right to proudly display on it's home page, "The Home of Socialism - is you don't like it, go try Gab" if they want?

      Also, any service without moderation is shit. No moderation is neutral.

      Certainly Stormfront and InfoWars will ban any speech that displeases them - do the Feds need to step in and say, "Let the left have equal time?"

      LOL. That'd be rich.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 30 Jul 2019 @ 6:34pm

        Re: Re:

        Certainly Stormfront and InfoWars will ban any speech that displeases them - do the Feds need to step in and say, "Let the left have equal time?"

        Oh the epic tantrums that would be sure to result from that...

        'No in fact you can't kick them off for pointing out how you're wrong, platforms must be neutral and as such they have a right to use your platform to post opposing views and rebuttals. Don't like it, take it up with the politicians who made 'platform neutrality' the law.'

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The funniest part is these alternative-to-right types seem not to comprehend the possibility that the false "balance" they demand could very well cause massive amounts of "censorship" of their own favorite cesspits.

          After all, to have "balanced" content on one's site requires the "other side" to be present - and it could prove difficult for hives of scum and villainy like Gab, Breitbart, Conservapedia, r/TD, wattsupwiththat to attract rational, moral people.

          Since they can't become "balanced" through rational morespeech, then the only alternative to avoid being shut down is to delete enough of the garbage to pare it down to "balanced" levels.

          Those alt-fact sites will ironically have to essentially become web UI templates to avoid being kicked offline completely.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 1 Aug 2019 @ 4:09am

            'Entry 23 on why you're all laughably wrong...'

            I imagine they'd try to argue that anyone can post, and it's not their fault that less repugnant people don't want to post alongside them, and as such it's still perfectly balanced with no need for the government to meddle any.

            Of course if someone called their bluff and actually started posting content they didn't like/agree with that's when the fun would really start, as they would have to either expose their gross hypocrisy and boot the person, or suck it up and deal with content that they didn't care for on their platform.

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

      • icon
        John Snape (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:51pm

        Re: Re:

        ...why shouldn't Twitter have the Right to proudly display on it's home page, "The Home of Socialism - is you don't like it, go try Gab" if they want?

        It would be honest of them if they did, but they don't. They pretend they are open to everyone and a neutral platform, but they aren't. They're a biased publisher who is deciding what (and who) gets published and what (or who) doesn't.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 31 Jul 2019 @ 6:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's very simple: they are open to anyone who follow their TOS. If someone is so bad at getting their point across that they get booted from the service because of TOS-violations - good riddance, because it directly reflects how really stupid those type of persons are.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 7:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          [Still asserting facts not in evidence]

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 6:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They pretend they are open to everyone and a neutral platform, but they aren't.

          Yes they are. Anyone can sign up for an account and start using the platform, no one is excluded and there is no pre-signup check or verification that would prevent you from signing up successfully.

          That does not mean that there are not rules for using said platforms, and you agree to abide by those rules when signing up. If you break those rules, you should absolutely expect to be punished and/or kicked off. It's like any other brick and mortar business, break the rules and expect to be ejected from the building.

          They're a biased publisher who is deciding what (and who) gets published and what (or who) doesn't.

          This is also blatantly untrue. A publisher reviews content BEFORE it gets posted, social media platforms moderate content AFTER it gets posted and is viewed publicly. There is a huge difference here.

          Traditional publishers, like newspapers, act like curators (think museums), they don't let just anyone or anything on their platform. Submitted content has to be vetted and reviewed before they allow it. Social media is the exact opposite. Yes they have rules but those rules don't prevent you from posting content, they just let you know what the consequences will be if you post content that breaks those rules.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:47am

      Re:

      ...his last bill to strip internet companies of Section 230 protections, unless they agree to allow everyone to speak, regardless of viewpoint.

      I agree John - including protecting the right of spammers to speak, and the right of them to force you to read it, just as the law is intended. Certainly if everyone's viewpoint should be welcome, that includes a right to advertise.

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

      • icon
        John Snape (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:34pm

        Re: Re:

        ...including protecting the right of spammers to speak, and the right of them to force you to read it...

        You're arguing against things I never said: I never said they had a right to force you to read what they wrote. I just said they have a right to say what they want to say. You are free to read it or not.

        The point is: it should be your decision if you want to read it or not, not a publisher deciding what you can or can't read.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 2:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The point is: it should be your decision if you want to read it or not, not a publisher deciding what you can or can't read.

          Wrong, all the constitution guarantees is that you can publish your own speech at your own expense and effort. It does not impose and does not require any publisher to publish it for you. If you have to run your own website, or print your own pamphlets or books, that is fine, as the government is not stopping you from publishing your speech.

          If you cannot attract an audience to places where you can publish your speech, say Gab, 8 Chan or Bitchute, etc. that is your problem to solve, and the solution does not include forcing popular platforms to carry your speech.

          Failure to attract a mass audience to places where you can publish is telling you something about how popular your speech is.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 1 Aug 2019 @ 4:03am

          Talk all you want, just not on MY porch

          You're arguing against things I never said: I never said they had a right to force you to read what they wrote.

          Read? No.

          Be forced to deal with, like it or not, even if that's 'only' going through and deleting/block it every time it crops up? Very much so.

          I just said they have a right to say what they want to say. You are free to read it or not.

          Not on someone else's platform they don't, no matter how much some may wish otherwise.

          Out of curiosity, do you practice what you preach and turn off your email's spam filter or use an email service that doesn't have a filter, or does your 'platforms/publishers shouldn't get between the user and content' stance only apply to other people?

          The point is: it should be your decision if you want to read it or not, not a publisher deciding what you can or can't read.

          Their platform, their rules. Don't like how they manage content/posters, leave and find/create a platform more to your liking.

          That said the idea you're proposing would be a spammer/troll's wet dream, as people would be forced to wade through massive amounts of garbage in order to get to anything they were interested in, forced to play eternal whack-a-troll as they block one poster only for a dozen more to pop right up spamming the same crap. Such a platform would be a cesspit well within a month as the trolls and/or spammers were left unchecked and those who didn't care to constantly deal with them bailed for better platforms.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 5:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The point is: it should be your decision if you want to read it or not, not a publisher deciding what you can or can't read.

          If your feed is flooded with a few thousand freely speaking spammers, are you still deciding what you want to read?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:32am

      Re:

      Why do you post this stuff then go silent as soon as everyone proves you wrong? If you truly believe this, why not respond and explain why we are all wrong? Hm?

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

      • icon
        John Snape (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Why do you post this stuff then go silent as soon as everyone proves you wrong?

        Because I don't sit at my computer all day refreshing the page so I can respond in a time frame that satisfies you.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 6:18am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Points for actually showing back up. That's rare for some of the other TD denizens who post stuff not based in reality then run away when confronted by hard facts.

          However, you still haven't provided any facts that prove your assertions, nor are your assertions based in reality.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 7:44pm

    This senator doesn't realize that he is going to have the blood of six million slaughtered Jewish people on his hands pushing companies to allow nazis to speak on the various formats he is threatening to strip 230 protection from. Well, maybe he'll realize it now.

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

  • identicon
    Tin-Foil-Hat, 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:03pm

    Nanny State

    So much for the Rs screaming about the nanny state. I guess Hawley will be our nanny.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2019 @ 8:43pm

    The problem with not allow companies to moderate is going to be the conflict with the EU Copyright Directive and proposed laws requiring sites around the world to moderate under EU laws.

    Now, EU sites could simply block US users to be able to avoid a conflict with this new law that Hawley is proposing, but that will quicly be circumvented with proxies and VPN.

    And no, using proxies or VPNs on the user side to bypass IP blcocks does not break any US laws, so don't get me started on either the CFAA or DMCA.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:42am

    Most users will not use vpns or a proxy to acess an eu website,
    not every one is a tech expert,
    its easy and free to install an ad blocker in a browser .
    i dont think any law saying websites cannot moderate will last long in the real world .
    Will disney owned websites or local community or government websites allow users
    to post links to adult websites or post comments that defame other people .
    i doubt it.
    Government should have laws re users rights privacy and ownership of their data and consumer rights
    and then leave the internet alone.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:13am

      Re:

      It seems that every time Congress gets off its haunches to do something, it completely goes against the grain of America's liberties.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 3:54pm

      Re:

      Another problem, like I said, especially for EU sites, is complying with the copyright and terrorism directives.

      Even if, say, dailymotion nlocos USA users, it does break the law to bypass geofencing with vpns.

      For a felony prosecution under the cfaa you have to have had to use an illegally obtained password AND intended to damage machines on the network, and using a proxy or VPN to bypass region blocks does not rise to.that

      And felony dmca prosecution requires that it he for some kind of financial gain, meaning making money and using VPN or proxy does rise to that threshold

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

  • icon
    wereisjessicahyde (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:36am

    Taxi!

    I don't understand the appeal of infinite scroll. I've tried but I just can't get to the bottom of it.

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

    • identicon
      Rekrul, 5 Aug 2019 @ 4:48pm

      Re: Taxi!

      I don't understand the appeal of infinite scroll. I've tried but I just can't get to the bottom of it.

      I know this is a joke, but I hate infinite scroll pages as well. Want to view the earliest videos by a very active YouTube author? Go to their video page, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, scroll down, click Load More, die of old age before ever reaching the end.

      Sites used to use separate pages and you could just click a higher number or even skip to the first/last pages. Then some idiot decided that was too confusing for today's clueless users and created infinite scroll, which if there's enough content on a page, will end up crashing the browser.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:54am

    Yes, it's a bummer Google wasn't as smart as they thought

    And they got caught manipulating people. And they'll probably get broken up again. And it's their own fault.

    While this apology for unethical Internet companies is great and all, it really should come from them. Or we should break them up for what they've done.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:05am

      Re: Yes, it's a bummer Google wasn't as smart as they thought

      And they got caught manipulating people.

      Is that your excuse for your views not finding a wider acceotabce?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 8:06am

      Re: Yes, it's a bummer Google wasn't as smart as they thought

      [Citation from a factual source needed]

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 9:31am

      Re: Yes, it's a bummer you are completely clueless

      And they got caught manipulating people

      When? Facts please.

      And they'll probably get broken up again.

      When was the first time?

      While this apology for unethical Internet companies is great and all

      It's not. It's a stupid law that won't solve anything.

      Or we should break them up for what they've done.

      How do you break up a search engine? Or an online marketplace? Or a social media platform? To put it more bluntly: how do you break up a piece of software and expect it to still work?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:41pm

      Re: Yes, it's a bummer zof wasn't as smart as a dead wren

      Oh look the village idiot showed up!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:11am

    You Gotta Slurp from the Same Magic Trough

    "...if we start a religion that worships the infinite scroll and gamification badges, will Hawley let us have an exemption from this law?"

    Don't be silly, of course not. Hawley supported Hobby Lobby 'cuz they were defending their butthurt from the stance of worshippers of the same sky-dwelling magical zombie as Hawley. Now, if you could cast an argument in favor of "infinite scrolling to the everlasting glory of the supernatural three-in-one," you might hook Hawley to support you.

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

  • icon
    mrtraver (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 5:30am

    Missouri guy here...

    *turns Mizzou shirt inside-out and covers face as I slink away in shame

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 6:47am

    I propose

    Don't Undermine 'Mericas Badges act

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

  • icon
    Ed (profile), 31 Jul 2019 @ 7:59am

    Hey "hackers", how about hacking into Hawley's computers and documenting all the gay porn and child sex videos you find there! (such a request has just been ruled legal by a judge in NY, in favor of Trump and the RNC).

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Jul 2019 @ 4:00pm

    As far as cutting users off for 30 minutes.

    If that is done by ip address, which YouTube would have to do, since they let you watch most videos without looging in, one could use a proxy to circumvent that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Aug 2019 @ 10:06am

    ....

    Ladies...gentlemen...

    This man is a malware version of clippy...

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

  • icon
    Ben L (profile), 2 Aug 2019 @ 12:46pm

    All hail the Infinite Scroll!

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


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