Beto O'Rourke Joins The Silly Parade Of Confused Politicians Looking To Destroy Section 230

from the the-cult-of-what-cow,-now? dept

Earlier this year it was revealed that Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke was a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow when he was a kid. To lots of folks in the tech world, this was a big deal. cDc was the original "hacking group." And while it doesn't sound like o'Rourke actually did that much hacking while in cDc, at the very least, it suggested that he was tech savvy and might actually understand the internet. Apparently not. On Friday, Beto revealed his plan to deal with gun violence -- and apparently, that plan is to take away Section 230 protections from large internet companies.

If you're thinking, "wait, what does Section 230 have to do with gun violence?" well, you're correct. But apparently Beto hasn't figured that out yet. The plan, in true Beto fashion, is quite short on details. Here's what it says:

Hold Internet Companies Accountable for Hosting and Allowing for the Amplification of Hate Speech and Domestic Terrorism

  • Block terrorist content online. The New York Times reports that, since 2011, a third of white extremists responsible for attacks were inspired by others who had carried out similar attacks. Yet the internet continues to serve as a breeding ground for the rise of domestic terrorists and white supremacists. Beto is calling on internet hosting companies to follow Cloudflare’s lead to not allow 8chan back online and supports the closure of 8chan, Stormfront and other white nationalist communities housed on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Require large social media platforms to create systems designed to remove hateful activities on their sites. Beto would require large internet platforms to adopt terms of service to ban hateful activities, defined as those that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.  These companies also would be required to put in place systems designed to identify and act on content violating the terms of service. Platforms must be transparent when they block content and provide for an appeal process in order to guard against abuse.
  • Amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Beto supports amending Section 230 of the CDA to remove legal immunity from lawsuits for large social media platforms that fail to change their terms of service and put in place systems as described above. Informational service providers of all sizes, including domain name servers and social media platforms, also would be held liable where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence.
  • In short, this is exactly what I noted a few weeks ago, in which our first response to mass shootings... seems to be people focusing on stripping 1st Amendment rights. Which is just weird.

    Nothing in Beto's plan makes any sense. Let's go through it one by one.

    "Blocking terrorist content online" sounds good if you've got no idea what you're talking about. As we've discussed, historical efforts to "block terrorist content" online has really only served to delete evidence of war crimes, including stopping researchers and archivists from tracking important information. Remember how the EU told the Internet Archive that the entire Project Gutenberg was terrorist content? I'm sure Beto's buddies in cDc would be flabbergasted that he killed Project Gutenberg.

    Furthermore, a recent study showed that taking down terrorist content wasn't helping win the war on terrorism, but was often making it much more difficult for law enforcement to use open source intelligence to track, find and stop terrorists. How the hell is that going to help stop gun violence?

    Finally, any non-government person can certainly express their opinion that platforms shouldn't host sites like 8chan or Stormfront, but both of those host mostly 1st Amendment protected content, and thus a Presidential campaign really should not be saying that, because as President you literally cannot have a policy that silences 1st Amendment protected speech. That's how the 1st Amendment works.

    And, arguably, it's not that difficult to trace a pretty direct lineage from Cult of the Dead Cow to 8chan -- and, if anyone, Beto should know that.

    "Require large social media platforms to create systems designed to remove hateful activities on their sites." Are there any "large" social media platforms that don't already ban hateful activities in their terms and have systems designed to remove that content? The answer is no. This is a pointless, meaningless policy demanding something that's already been done.

    The only thing in here that's interesting is that it also says platforms should be transparent in why they block content and should have an appeals process. And, sure, that's a good thing, but it's also not exactly the government's job to tell them how to do all of that. And while I've been a loud support of more transparent content moderation policies, I can guarantee you that government mandated transparency here would be a disaster, because it would not allow for the kind of experimentation and differential approaches that various platforms take. It also doesn't seem to realize that, on certain platforms, when done poorly, "transparency" is just a guidebook for assholes on how to troll.

    "Amend CDA 230." This part also makes no sense. Removing liability for "large social media platforms" that don't put in place the tools above. Um. They all do already, so what's the point of this? And, really, I don't think sites like 8chan would count as "large" anyway, so what's he getting at here? Even worse, Beto commits the cardinal sin of not just confusing infrastructure providers and edge service providers, he deliberately lumps them together with this line:

    Informational service providers of all sizes, including domain name servers and social media platforms, also would be held liable where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence.

    There's a lot to unpack there and the vagueness is a problem. If he's only talking about content that is already outside the scope of 1st Amendment (which would be speech that incites imminent violence -- he leaves out the important imminent part), then, that's already not protected by 230 anyway. Federal criminal laws have always been exempted from 230. So, this is dumb? But if he's trying to expand the classification of what would get internet platforms in trouble, he's going to run into yet another 1st Amendment issue really, really quickly.

    As we've noted previously, both Republicans and Democrats are gunning for Section 230, but (often without realizing it) for the opposite reasons. Senator Josh Hawley's ridiculous anti-230 bill would block companies from being able to moderate at all. While Beto's bill here would attempt to pressure them into moderating much more stringently. It's unclear how you could possibly reconcile these two approaches -- both of which are almost certainly unconstitutional.

    Destroying Section 230 because you're ignorant of how the internet works is not a partisan past time. Both of the major political parties seem to be embracing this nonsense.

    Filed Under: 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, beto o'rourke, cda 230, guns, intermediary liability, platform liability, section 230, violence


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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 10:48am

      a recent study showed that taking down terrorist content wasn't helping win the war on terrorism, but was often making it much more difficult for law enforcement to use open source intelligence to track, find and stop terrorists. How the hell is that going to help stop gun violence?

      The same way FOSTA/SESTA was going to help stop human trafficking despite making the tracking and arresting of actual traffickers much harder to do by driving them further underground:

      It won’t.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 11:10am

      as i suggested before, Mike, why not put out a piece yourself in the NY Times or wherever, explaining properly and completely exactly what these Politicians should already know but are grandstanding over, as usual by ignoring the meaning and purpose of it? perhaps if they then try to question, query or even poo poo your fact-based version off, then those who were responsible for getting it into law in the first place will get off their fat asses and do what they should have done God knows how long ago, STAND UP AND TELL THE TRUTH! this is all to make it more difficult for anyone to get/keep protections from the law and from businesses! until, that is, the law goes after the fuckers who want it done away with atm!

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    • icon
      ECA (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 11:23am

      Last time we had something like this...

      It was called a book burning.
      I wonder how many Christians Would live by Other Christian groups beliefs, and bible versions.
      We need to remove the bibles when they Show/describe Terrorism. When every first born is killed in a nation, isnt that Terrorism??

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 11:41am

      down

      Informational service providers of all sizes, including domain name servers and social media platforms, also would be held liable where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence.

      So does that mean all government sites are coming down... ... the US Government promotes violence on occasion (even if it's seldom justifiable), so it would only stand to reason that it applies here to.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 11:58am

      Informational service providers of all sizes, including domain name servers and social media platforms, also would be held liable where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence.

      Do I sense the hands of the RIAA and MPAA behind that idea, as it would be the camels nose that gets their desired camel into the tent,

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 3:31pm

        Re:

        Yikes. If we're talking DNS through social media, that means it includes sites serving up a lot of rap music and lyrics, any site promoting a boxing or MMA match, any site promoting movies rated PG-13 or higher for violent content, and any government website promoting the death penalty.

        Or are there supposed to be exemptions to this?

        Let's say all the above orgs can afford to do #1 and 2, and so be exempt from #3: what about all the smaller places that can't do #1 or #2 because it just doesn't apply? DNS isn't social media, so #2 doesn't apply. But if my personal DNS server doesn't block access to terrorist content when someone looks it up via redirect, does that mean I've now run afoul of this and no longer have protection?

        Maybe it's just a case that Beto doesn't understand how DNS works. This was obviously aimed directly at CloudFlare and "solving the problem" instead of being an architectural design decision.

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      icon
      Zof (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:10pm

      I think the Internet was fine before section 230

      We should just put things back the way they were when they had to tell us the truth and couldn't lie to us and get protected doing it. Hey, remember all those civil liberties and free speech we used to have? I'd like those back also. Thanks.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:26pm

        Re:

        Then you don't know internet history. 230 passed in 1996 due to somebody trying to hold a website responsible for something they didn't do. That has only increased exponentially. Without 230, no website would exist today that would be willing to host any comments or content from users. Heck, email would probably be dead too.

        remember all those civil liberties and free speech we used to have? I'd like those back

        They never left, moron.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:46pm

        Re: There’s a huge zof in the toilet.

        Did someone forget to flush again?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:48pm

        Re: I think the Internet was fine before section 230

        Can't figure why in the HELL your comment was flagged! 230 lovers took offense maybe? Is it possible for one person to just stay on the flag button here to get comments removed?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 1:07am

          Re: Re: I think the Internet was fine before section 230

          "Can't figure why in the HELL your comment was flagged"

          It's either the blatant lies, or the fact that he's a known troll who adds nothing to any conversation. Who's to say?

          "230 lovers took offense maybe?"

          He says, blissfully unaware that section 230 is what allows him to make that comment.

          "Is it possible for one person to just stay on the flag button here to get comments removed?"

          No, since one flag doesn't cause a post to be hidden and as clicking multiple times toggles the flag, you never get more than one vote.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:32pm

            Re: Re: Re: I think the Internet was fine before section 230

            230 allows him to make that comment.. 230 supercedes the 1st amendment, does it? Stop trying to breakdown and anal-yze every comment as if you were Thor, Internet God @Techdirt.. its annoying.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 2:28am

          Re: Re: Best of luck either way bro.

          Either you’re zof. Or you’re just a fucking idiot. Actually on second thought, I just said the same thing twice.

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            Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Best of luck either way bro.

            You're redundant and immaterial regardless of your I.Q.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 11:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Best of luck either way bro.

              What’s the over/under you had to use a thesaurus to look up those two words bro?

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    • identicon
      Michael, 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:22pm

      Holy cow

      "a third of white extremists responsible for attacks were inspired by others who had carried out similar attacks"

      ok, well, they missed the end of the NYT study results because it continues with:
      "professed a reverence for them or showed an interest in their tactics"

      So, the NYT study indicates two thirds of white extremists responsible for attacks did so without any inspiration or interest in the tactics of previous attacks.

      First, that has to make you question the study in entirety considering they were studying substantially similar attacks. Second, if you believe it, that would leave you with 2/3 of the attacks happening with no knowledge of the occurrence of previous attacks and the internet could not possibly have contributed.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Holy cow

        So, the NYT study indicates two thirds of white extremists responsible for attacks did so without any inspiration or interest in the tactics of previous attacks.

        No, that would be proving a negative.

        Did you seriously just chastise someone for changing the meaning of a sentence by leaving off the end of it, while changing the meaning of that same sentence by leaving off the beginning of it?

        Because here's the full sentence:

        An analysis by The New York Times of recent terrorism attacks found that at least a third of white extremist killers since 2011 were inspired by others who perpetrated similar attacks, professed a reverence for them or showed an interest in their tactics.

        It says "at least a third." Not "exactly a third", not "only a third." At least a third.

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    • identicon
      Pixelation, 19 Aug 2019 @ 12:50pm

      I guess they will rename it section 180.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:10pm

      This would protect individuals against defamation, which would be a good thing.

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

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:11pm

      It's a simple concept: protect the individual from abusive content, such as defamation, doxing, harassment, etc. while protecting the public against the spread of terrorism and mass-shootings. The latter is difficult to stop, but the former is not.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:19pm

        Re:

        Changing 230 will do neither of those things since 230 doesn't have anything to do with either of them.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re:

          Changing 230 will do neither of those things since 230 doesn't have anything to do with either of them.

          So you think Google will not remove defamatory search results if they are liable as distributors for those results? For example, if their search results contain a claim that a woman is a prostitute, Google will not remove this, but instead stand behind it and allow itself to be sued by the woman? Google would still be immune prior to being put on notice by the woman, but you think not having 230 immunity after that point wouldn't cause them to remove the post?

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:54pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Google is not the one making the defamatory claim. Therefore, why should Google bear liability for it? Also, you don't know how search results work.

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Google is SPREADING the defamation, however, amplifying its audience. That is a separate harm from the original publication. In the offline world, it's called distributor liability, and online in every country but the US, they are liable. Why should the US be any different?

              Surely anyone with an IQ over 20 can grasp that repeating defamation is an addition, separate harm from publishing it. The courts sure do. Section 230 merely bars lawsuits based on this harm, but the harm is clear.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:09pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Google is SPREADING the defamation, however, amplifying its audience.

                Pfft. How?

                That is a separate harm from the original publication.

                No, it's not. That's a made up in your head harm.

                In the offline world, it's called distributor liability,

                Yes, because in the offline world, publishers review content PRIOR to allowing it to be sold or distributed by their business. Therefore it is assumed that they saw it and approved it. This is entirely different from online where it's not reviewed at all unless informed about it, or a moderator happens to find it.

                and online in every country but the US, they are liable.

                That doesn't make it a good idea. If everyone else jumped off a cliff to their death, would you?

                Why should the US be any different?

                Because some smart people said that's a bad idea.

                Surely anyone with an IQ over 20 can grasp that repeating defamation is an addition, separate harm from publishing it.

                Not really. For example, a major news outlet ran a story on Alex Jones not too long ago. They certainly repeated some of his defamation claims. Are you going to say they should be held liable?

                The courts sure do.

                [Citation needed.]

                Section 230 merely bars lawsuits based on this harm

                That is quite literally not what the law says. I suggest you read it before further embarrassing yourself.

                but the harm is clear.

                No, it's really not.

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              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:09pm

                You’ve been told before that defamation law doesn’t work that way. What makes you think anything has changed in that regard between the last time you were told that and now?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:38pm

                Re: Keep Cryin and lyin bro

                “Surely anyone with an IQ over 20 can grasp...”

                And yet, here you are. Grasping at straws. And failing miserably.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 5:45pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Hi John. How's your alpha male buddy Jeffrey Epstein coming along?

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 2:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Google is SPREADING the defamation, however, amplifying its audience."

                Bullshit.

                Google is a search index. It tallies available information and allows people to search it. End of story.

                What you are essentially saying is that library indexes should be held liable for the contents of the indexed books.

                At which point I refer you back to a few millenia's worth of very long debates and arguments regarding what must be considered sacred if the concept of "Free Speech" is to practically exist.

                Your argument basically boils down to "If enough people say bad things about me, it might spread because I'm just THAT much of a douche. And this is bad".

                It's ironic that the US, of all countries, actually NEEDED to build section 230 right in to safeguard free speech online when just about every other member of the G20 already had it covered in their various constitutions and telcom acts.

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            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:50pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            google already censors whatever they don't like if they think someone is possibly using it nefariously without so much as a hey you.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              [Citation needed] or it didn't happen.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 2:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "google already censors whatever they don't like"

              How, exactly, does google modify the content residing upon hosts not within their control/oversight/ownership?
              Or, are you claiming that removing a link from a list of links is considered censoring?
              No matter how one looks at this, you are wrong.

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      • identicon
        Glen, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:20pm

        Re:

        You've heard of the 1st Amendment? It's kind of a big deal.

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re:

          Section 230 isn't part of the first Amendment. Repealing it won't prevent companies from hosting defamation, it will only eliminate their immunity for doing so.

          A company that wants to stand behind a user lying about someone is more than free to do that, but they'll just be sued for it.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Section 230 isn't part of the first Amendment.

            No, but the First Amendment does preclude the government from telling online platforms what they can and cannot allow people to say on their sites. Kind of trumps your argument.

            Repealing it won't prevent companies from hosting defamation, it will only eliminate their immunity for doing so.

            It will also remove your immunity online, since it protects both users and websites. But do, pray tell, explain why we should be so gung ho to hold someone who didn't make a defamatory claim liable and responsible for it.

            A company that wants to stand behind a user lying about someone

            Show me where this has happened. I'll wait.

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            • identicon
              bob, 19 Aug 2019 @ 3:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              *A company that wants to stand behind a user lying about someone

              Show me where this has happened. I'll wait.*

              Brietbart?

              Its not a good company, but they do stand behind the liars they publish

              Fox News? (Not the news part)

              I mean they still have a few liars on payroll, but they seem to at least recognize some limits they shouldn't cross.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              these pissy politicians burn in their britches when some of us peons criticize government harshly. tHEY want to stop us.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:26pm

        The only way to truly protect someone from abusive content is abridging the freedom of expression. I’m pretty sure the United States Constitution says something about whether the government can do that.

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      • identicon
        TFG, 19 Aug 2019 @ 1:28pm

        Re:

        Welcome back, Sanford. Don't have any new arguments, eh?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:00pm

      How to get rich off Section 230:

      1. Anonymously post defamatory content about yourself using a "burner" internet connection.

      2. Wait for people to repeat the defamation when they find it on Google, "in their own words," making them the publisher of the repeated defamation.

      3. Sue them.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:11pm

        If this plan is so foolproof, for what reason haven’t you produced a single example of anyone ever even attempting it, let alone succeeding with it?

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:33pm

          Re:

          If this plan is so foolproof, for what reason haven’t you produced a single example of anyone ever even attempting it, let alone succeeding with it?

          No one has ever evaded taxes, since no one provides names of those who do it.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:11pm

        Re:

        This is the part where we throw our heads back and laugh. Ready?

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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

      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:16pm

        Re:

        I am not sure how section 230 is the reason you profit. The profit seems to come from intentional acts of fraud.

        I mean if anything sec 230 is making this fraud harder.

        Without sec 230 the steps go:

        1. Anonymously post defamatory content about yourself using a "burner" internet connection.

        2. Sue website content was posted to.

        Not sure how SEC 230 makes that any easier or profitable.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:40pm

        Re: The pathetic return of crybaby Jhon.

        Sup Jhon boy. You finally sober up?

        Do you remember all that defamation you committed last time bro? Or were you too blotto? 230 the only thing keeping your ass outta the poor house bro.

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:56pm

        Re:

        If this really would work, why do these Techdirters flag it. This sure ain't the way it use to be. Big brother is wearing everybody down?

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 2:40am

        Re:

        So, that plan of yours using..."burner"...internet connections...

        You've been taking that up as, somehow, a valid danger for what...three years now, just here on TD?

        And strangely enough not one single case of this happening has ever showed itself in factual reality, mainly because there are pretty good technical and legal reasons as to why this scheme of yours is invalid.

        So for how many years will you have to be proven wrong in real life before you decide to stop wasting everyone's time on a hypothetical which ranks with Russel's Teapot in probability?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:32pm

      How to profit from Section 230 if you are a lawyer:

      1. Find a litigious celebrity on the internet
      2. Pay anonymous third parties to defame said celebrity on sites in other countries
      3. Wait for people to repeat the defamation and be sued by said celebrity
      4. Represent the celebrity
      5. Represent the defendants (with their funds or crowdfunding)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:37pm

        Re:

        This is another part where we throw our heads back and laugh. Ready?

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Impotent is the key word here

        Is lying about section 230 the only way you can even get a twinge of feeling in you broken impotent prick bro?

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:49pm

        Number of times anyone has ever attempted this, let alone been successful with it:

        0.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 6:16pm

          Re:

          How fucked in the head does one have to be to think that simultaneously representing the plaintiff and defendant in the same case is a winning strategy?

          Oh, right. This was the stable genius who said that Prenda Law would win their appeal against Otis Wright...

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 8:02pm

            Re: Re:

            Its called a dual fiduciary. Its been around in the real estate scheme for a long time. In law it probably is a bit of a conflict of interest unless you are working in an arbitrator capacity. IANAL

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 5:44am

              probably

              Unless, as you said, a lawyer is working as an arbitrator, representing both sides in a defamation lawsuit isn’t only a conflict of interest, but a clear sign of something going down behind the scenes that shouldn’t be going down.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:57pm

          Re:

          Maybe when Steele gets out, he'll give it a try!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 3:29pm

        Re:

        How to profit from Section 230 if you are a lawyer:

        1. Find a litigious celebrity on the internet
        2. Pay anonymous third parties to defame said celebrity on sites in other countries
        3. Wait for people to repeat the defamation and be sued by said celebrity
        4. Represent the celebrity
        5. Represent the defendants (with their funds or crowdfunding)

        Don't forget 6. Get sued yourself and then disbarred, and probably arrested.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:52am

        Re:

        Your scheme is too complicated.

        What you should do is be the litigious celebrity, and own the websites, and represent yourself pro se on both sides.

        That way, you'll be plaintiff and respondent, as well as both of their attorneys. Except for the judge and jury, you'll have the courtroom all to yourself.

        Just make sure that you are constantly objecting to your own arguments as you examine and then cross-examine yourself as witness.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 2:34pm

      I am not sure how section 230 is the reason you profit.

      I'm sure there's a lot of which you are not sure, Forrest.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Aug 2019 @ 7:57pm

      Sometimes it IS malice

      'It is difficult to get a politician to understand something, when their argument depends on their not understanding it.'

      Destroying Section 230 because you're ignorant of how the internet works is not a partisan past time. Both of the major political parties seem to be embracing this nonsense.

      Much like people trying to undermine encryption by making false claims that have long been debunked or shown to be fatally flawed I'd say it's well past time to grant the 'ignorance' pass on things like this.

      At this point there is no excuse for a politician issuing public statements to not have done the research on the topic, and as such the default assumption should be that they are deliberately lying or otherwise being dishonest when they make flawed or flat out wrong statements regarding 230.

      Senator Josh Hawley's ridiculous anti-230 bill would block companies from being able to moderate at all. While Beto's bill here would attempt to pressure them into moderating much more stringently. It's unclear how you could possibly reconcile these two approaches -- both of which are almost certainly unconstitutional.

      As I noted the last time the question was raised: 'Nerd harder'. If the platforms really cared they'll figure out a way to both moderate more and less, and inability to do that will be laid entirely on their feet rather than at the feet of the politicians that demanded they do two contradictory things at once.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 8:10pm

        Re: Sometimes it IS malice

        If corporations are pissed that truths coming out about their sleazy greedy antics and want those comments stopped and those commentors beaten to within a breath of unconsciousness, its completely understandable where the brown nosing it coming is coming from and why we should soon see 230 edited. Expect it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Aug 2019 @ 8:49pm

      Both Major Parties Embrace the Nonsense of Their Supporters

      "Destroying Section 230 because you're ignorant of how the internet works is not a partisan past time. Both of the major political parties seem to be embracing this nonsense."

      It is an entirely partisan pastime. Shouldn't be, but it is exactly that - nothing more or less.

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

    • icon
      Ed (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 9:31am

      Stop it!

      Why does the media still give this turd more exposure? He should have been a has-been footnote in history by now. But evidently, somebody in media still wants him in the mentions. Flush him already, he's only doing damage.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 10:42am

        Re: Stop it!

        Whether or not you like him or think he’ll win, he’s still in the race for being the democratic candidate for next year’s election, which by definition makes what he does newsworthy. Why wouldn’t they cover him? Are you asking the media to play favourites and deliberately give less coverage to some than others?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 9:53am

      "Informational service providers of all sizes, including domain name servers and social media platforms, also would be held liable where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence."

      Another misinformed politician wants to destroy DNS ... what is the matter with these people?

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 2:13pm

      We already lost, don't bother.

      None of you are going to do shit about it. The government will kill Section 230 with no resistance and the masses will celebrate as all freedom on the internet dies forever. It's more worthwhile to just kill ourselves at this point. Many on both the left (you) and right (right wing twitter users) have given up and ceded victory to the powers that be.

      It's not like there was ever anything we could do to take back our freedom anyway. remember the W3C infected the internet with DRM back in 2017.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 2:23pm

        Re: We already lost, don't bother.

        That’s nice. I used to get really high too.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Aug 2019 @ 6:48pm

        Re: We already lost, don't bother.

        Maybe people will start talking to each other in the waiting room again and unbury their noses from their cell phones and pads! Greet each other as we pass by on the street instead of searching for more dirt in the tech world! Nah!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 8:41pm

        Re:

        None of you are going to do shit about it.

        And you know this how?

        The government will kill Section 230 with no resistance

        And the current resistance to even thinking about touching 230 is what? Mass hallucination?

        the masses will celebrate as all freedom on the internet dies forever.

        Lay off the tin foil.

        It's more worthwhile to just kill ourselves at this point.

        Wow. Just wow. I'm sorry but at no time could it get so bad that the better solution is to commit mass suicide. Especially since this is a law we are talking about it. If it can be changed once, it can be changed twice. Yeesh dude.

        Many on both the left (you)

        Way to assume my political leanings. (That means you're wrong.)

        have given up and ceded victory to the powers that be.

        Sorry, what? Do we even live on the same planet? The powers that be are Trump and his administration at the moment. Are you telling me that there is absolutely nobody screaming bloody murder at what he is doing any more? Or even a mild "I don't approve of this."?

        It's not like there was ever anything we could do to take back our freedom anyway.

        Sorry, which freedom was it that you lost again? So far all of mine are still intact, more or less.

        remember the W3C infected the internet with DRM back in 2017.

        No I don't, because they didn't. Provided a mechanism for people to use their own DRM if they so chose, yes, pushed it out mandatory to the entire internet, no.

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

    • icon
      GS (profile), 20 Aug 2019 @ 11:49pm

      This is a knee-jerk reaction by an idiot politician full of nothing but idiotic ideas. They're just throwing shit out there to see what sticks to the wall purely for votes. There are no anti-gun laws that can be crafted that will take the guns out of the hands of criminals. Murder is already illegal. Would you like to make it super illegal? If the crime of murder and the punishment related to it and the laws in relation to it aren't enough to stop a mass murderer then literally nothing else will. The best we can do is to adequately prepare ourselves eventuality that this will happen again. In other words to learn how to protect yourself, your friends and your family.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 12:17am

        Re:

        "There are no anti-gun laws that can be crafted that will take the guns out of the hands of criminals"

        Which is why no gun law has ever worked in any of the countries that don't have the same gun problems as you do. You already have more guns than most of the countries that never have mass shootings combined, so clearly the answer to this epidemic is more guns.

        "Murder is already illegal"

        That doesn't mean you should make it easier for the people who want to do it.

        "If the crime of murder and the punishment related to it and the laws in relation to it aren't enough to stop a mass murderer then literally nothing else will"

        Well, why bother to have laws at all?

        "In other words to learn how to protect yourself, your friends and your family."

        Did you know that, statistically, having guns in the home can decrease your safety rather than increase it? You face greater risk of accidental shootings, and domestic violence/suicide becomes more dangerous among some people while . not necessarily increasing home safety. I'd imagine the same would be true if people are encouraged to shoot their way out of any perceived danger rather than deal with the root causes.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 21 Aug 2019 @ 4:15am

          Re: Re:

          "Which is why no gun law has ever worked in any of the countries that don't have the same gun problems as you do. You already have more guns than most of the countries that never have mass shootings combined, so clearly the answer to this epidemic is more guns."

          Those countries also have quite different infrastructure and culture than the US. The starting point is different.

          Gun control can not function in the US - from a legal pov, from the cultural pov, and from a societal pov. That's why even if gun control WAS achievable, it'll in reality do as much good as trying to combat global warming by making a law saying that it is forbidden for CO2 to absorb infrared radiation.

          Also, kindly duly note that the prevalence of guns doesn't go very far towards explaining why in the US murder rates which are NOT related to guns are also at a level you won't find anywhere else in the G20.

          Gun control makes sense if we're talking about european nations. Before you can get that to do anything meaningful in the US you really need to start down the same road we did there.

          Historically speaking no european nations started out with gun control on the agenda. It was simply possible to implement that once society as a whole found that access to firearms was not a necessity for most people.

          "I'd imagine the same would be true if people are encouraged to shoot their way out of any perceived danger rather than deal with the root causes."

          And that is about 99% of the issue, right there. For numerous reasons it is tacitly understood by many americans that if you are in trouble, violence is the only solution on the table. At the end of the day US murder rates - rampage killings or otherwise - ends up being a class issue.

          Taking guns away from the irresponsible and the violent? In the US? Would be nice.
          And if pigs had wings they might fly.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 21 Aug 2019 @ 3:10am

        Re:

        Nice motercycle gang patch bro.

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


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