Marc Benioff Calls For Section 230 To Be Abolished At The Same Time His Company Is Relying On 230 To Get Out Of A Lawsuit

from the dude,-seriously? dept

I like Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, in part because he doesn't act like most tech CEOs and isn't afraid to speak his mind and actually sound fairly human, rather than a rehearsed automaton who has a gazillion PR people vetting every message. That doesn't mean I always (or even often) agree with him, but I appreciate his willingness to speak his mind. I'm even not that surprised that he's jumped on the bandwagon in calling for Facebook to be broken up, even though the reasons he cites are based on false statements that he's apparently been convinced are true (which... maybe is a little scary) or that it still remains totally unclear to me how breaking up Facebook fixes any of the problems discussed by supporters of such a plan (unless the problem is just "I don't want Facebook to exist.").

Benioff also, oddly, seems unfamiliar with how the 1st Amendment works, in claiming that Congress needs to make it against the law to lie in political ads:

In particular, Benioff took issue with Facebook's recent decision to run political advertisements from the Trump campaign which contain false claims. Benioff said there is "no question" that he would not run such advertisements if he were the head of Facebook, and called on Congress to pass legislation that would require truthful advertising on social media platforms.

There are, of course, truth in advertising laws, but those focus on commercial speech, which has been deemed to be moderately less protected under the 1st Amendment. Political speech, on the other hand, is at the top of the protected food chain, and there's no way that the Supreme Court would bless any law from Congress that would "require truthful advertising on social media platforms."

But what strikes me as really bizarre is that as part of his ill-informed attack on Facebook, he's decided to throw Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (and, with it, free speech on the internet) under the bus at the exact moment that his own company is heavily relying on Section 230 to get out of a massive lawsuit. In that same CNN interview which generated the headlines about breaking up Facebook, he briefly addresses Section 230 as well:

One of the reasons tech platforms are able to publish such content without consequences is the law typically shorthanded as Section 230, which allows internet platform providers to moderate some content without fear of being held liable for most of what users do on their platforms.

Benioff called Section 230 "the most dangerous law on the books right now," and said it should be "abolished."

He reiterated this statement on Twitter -- a site that literally only exists because of Section 230.

This is wrong and ridiculous on many levels. Section 230 doesn't "indemnify" Facebook, it makes sure that legal liability is properly placed on the party doing the speaking, not the party hosting the speech.

And if anyone should know that, it's Marc Benioff right this very moment. As we detailed earlier this year, Salesforce is currently being sued for sex trafficking by a group of people who were trafficked on Backpage... because Backpage used Salesforce to track its customers. And, the key argument that Salesforce's very expensive lawyers are making... is that Salesforce is protected by CDA 230:

If you're unable to read that it, it shows that the core argument Salesforce is making is that it's protected by Section 230. That's in the legal filing the company made literally one month ago. In it, Benioff's lawyers highlight the importance of Section 230, and also point out that -- despite the claims of the plaintiffs in the case -- the protections of 230 clearly do not apply to content provided by 3rd parties on a platform such as Salesforce (or... Facebook).

I'm not sure if Benioff is so confused that he doesn't understand how Section 230 works, or if he's just uninformed. The fact that he uses the phrase "Facebook is a publisher" suggests, unfortunately, that he's been reading/hearing some of the nonsense about "platform v. publisher" -- a distinction that is not found in the law, but is often played up by online trolls and cranks. I thought Benioff was better than an online troll or crank, but this latest outburst suggests I may have overestimated him.

Salesforce should be able to get this sex trafficking case tossed on 230 grounds, and Section 230 is a key reason why "the cloud" and cloud services -- a space Benioff helped pioneer -- exist. For him to trash 230 and call for it to be abolished is crazy. If anything, an argument can be made that Benioff is savvy enough to know that he can afford expensive lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to get him out of sticky situations based on what the various Salesforce customers have done with his services -- but the many growing SaaS competitors creeping into his market... probably can't. And, hey, abusing the law to block and harm competitors. Why that sounds like an antitrust problem...

Filed Under: 1st amendment, cda 230, free speech, liability, marc benioff, monopoly, political advertising, section 230
Companies: facebook, salesforce


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:13am

    hmm. seems about par for the course! dont do as i do etc etc etc

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

    • icon
      btr1701 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      It sure would be nice if journalists would do their jobs and research the guy they're interviewing ahead of time, so that when he starts going off on 230, they're prepared to ask him to justify why he thinks it's so horrible when he's asserting it himself against people who were sex trafficked.

      "According to the standard you've outlined here for us today, Mr. Benioff, shouldn't you and your company be accountable to these victims of crime?"

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 3:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Ah, the response would be glorious I'm sure. Do they expose their hypocrisy in claiming that they deserve the protection of the law they don't think should exist to protect anyone else, play dumb and act confused as to what the two have in common, or eat some humble pie and admit that they screwed up and made a fool of themselves?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    I.D. Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:19am

    Difficult for me to publish here!

    As usual in a Maz piece, looks like he's okaying each comment. Six tries so far...

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

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:21am

      Re: Difficult tie shoes!

      Six tries so far...

      Maybe you should try putting new batteries in your etch a sketch? Common Law says if you aren't smart enough to use a PC.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        I.D.Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:23am

        Re: Re: Difficult tie shoes!

        Oh, look who popped up in seconds! Perhaps "Gary" who's a Geigner sock-puppet, has his finger on the okay button.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:36am

          Re: Re: Re: It’s Gary’s all the way down bro!

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 7:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It’s Gary’s all the way down bro!

            I wish y'all involved with this shit would stop smearing non-neurotypical folks, and those with mental illnesses, by associating them with ignorant assholes for the purposes of your derisive amusement. Doesn't matter if maybe this one or some other may actually have some illness, decent humans don't use that as their cudgel for smacking down idiots.

            It is also no more intelligent than the asshole comments.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 8:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It’s Gary’s all the way down bro!

              It’s quite obviously an accurate observation. And since he refuses to get treated for for it. I refuse to refrain from making fun of him.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:40am

      Re: Difficult for me to publish here!

      I get a message whenever one of my comments needs to be “okayed” before appearing, and that only happens rarely. Otherwise, my comments always appear immediately. And since I doubt that Masnick is up 24/7 to okay all the comments that aren’t held for review, I think it’s safe to say he doesn’t typically have to okay each comment on his pieces.

      Assuming what you’ve said about trying and failing six times here is true, my guess is that either 1) the content of your comments you’ve been trying to post contain something that triggers automatic flags that require it to be okayed before it appears, and it fails that manual review, 2) the content of your comments includes something that causes it to not even reach manual review (I don’t believe this one, but I might as well throw it out there), or 3) because of your past behavior, your IP address or something has been flagged as belonging to a troll or something, which means most of your comments have to pass through manual review before appearing in the thread, regardless of content.

      Regardless, most of us don’t encounter the same or similar problems that you do, and certainly not to the same extent. Therefore, I feel pretty safe in assuming the problem has something to do with you, not Masnick.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 1:05pm

      Re: I used to be like you. Then the war started.

      “Six tries so far”

      Your wife: mark please I used to have a husband. Your son used to have a father. Why are you spamming a technology site like you work the CIA? Your freaking out the neighbors. This is not the man I married.

      You: THE WAR MUST END JESSICA.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 3:14pm

        Go with unicorns instead, much more believable

        Objection, joke assumes that anyone would be insane enough to want to spend significant time around Blue.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 12:25am

      Re:

      "Six tries so far"

      Why it's almost as though people are telling you that your rampant idiocy isn't welcome here...

      Maybe whenever you get that through your thick skull you'll also accept the concept of automated filters. I know it feeds your ego to think there's a grand conspiracy where people are hovering over your comments 24/7, but you're really just playing yourself.

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

      • identicon
        A Guy, 18 Oct 2019 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re:

        Automated filters are an actual conspiracy in the United States. Prior restraint of speech is illegal in nearly every instance if not every instance still. You can be punished for illegal forms of speech afterward.

        The laws recognizing foreign powers or granting them immunities are unconstitutional if they use their sovereign immunity to try to push prior restraint of speech. (first amendment)(... and which they do)

        While the copyright laws probably won't be found to be unconstitutional because the copyright holders keep pushing for automated filters, they could pretty conceivably have their copyrights suspended for copyright misuse if they get caught too often using their monopoly to push for automated filters. They're also pushing their luck by getting armies of foreigners to try to overturn the Supreme Court/first amendment abroad and then import those policies back home already.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 1:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Prior restraint of speech is illegal in nearly every instance if not every instance still."

          It's really not, unless it's the government doing it.

          "You can be punished for illegal forms of speech afterward."

          ...and private companies can filter or block your non-illegal speech perfectly legally if they decide that it's not acceptable on their private property.

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

          • identicon
            A Guy, 18 Oct 2019 @ 1:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If the policies are a result of governmental pressure (foreign or domestic) the policies are illegal even if it's technically private entities carrying them out. That's the "chilling effects" body of legal precedents that mostly come from the Supreme Court and are our current law.

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 1:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If the policies are a result of governmental pressure (foreign or domestic) the policies are illegal even if it's technically private entities carrying them out."

              That sounds like a bad thing. You should get on that.

              I'm not sure what that has to do with the spam filter that's causing our resident moron to have another tantrum, though.

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

              • identicon
                A Guy, 18 Oct 2019 @ 1:42am

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

                Ah

                The 24 hour comment hovering is in fact the rss function on the site. I just started trying the "feedbro" addon for firefox to see if I like an rss feed of the comments or not.

                That's real though.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    I.D. Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:28am

    No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "publishers"!

    Yes, I can get short ones in. This is the pre-emptive control that makes Techdirt a publisher, not provider...

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      I.D. Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:28am

      Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "publish

      ere's the text:

      "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of-

      (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected..."

      Note first that THE LAW states "user" has the same power! (Yet where is that implemented in Facebook?) It's not a blanket grant of authority just to corporations, to enforce their own political orthodoxy, it's an intended mechanism to promote the general good.

      The key trick YOU try to pull is make providers into publishers with immunity such as no print publisher has ever had, while retaining full control over what's supposed to be a new kind of mechanism that allows everyone to be a publisher.

      Section 230 makes "electronic printers" NOT liable for what users publish, period.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        The key trick YOU try to pull is make providers into publishers with immunity such as no print publisher has ever had, while retaining full control over what's supposed to be a new kind of mechanism that allows everyone to be a publisher.

        Amazing how you forget the othet half of the 'trick' you refer about print publishers...those that write the material are paid by the print publisher, making the print publisher responsible for the content. FB and other internet platforms are different in this key aspect, unless it is their staff making the posts.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" in

          He's obviously a pervert, but just not very good at experssing his desires in the right channels.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to a broken clock right

        “Section 230 makes "electronic printers" NOT liable for what users publish”

        Just so bro.

        Just so

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:54am

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        Note first that THE LAW states "user" has the same power! (Yet where is that implemented in Facebook?)

        Let me clear this up for you. Some websites—including this one—give users the option to flag content as objectionable to be hidden or removed. Others, like Google SafeSearch or YouTube’s protected mode, allow users to add or enable filters in order to keep from them having to see objectionable content without actually removing that content from others’ ability to view. The part of the law you’re quoting allows websites to offer these options without making either themselves or the users who flag things or enabled the filters liable for the flagging, hiding, or removal of content they deem objectionable. It does not require any “provider…of an interactive computer service” to moderate any content at all, nor does it require them to give users that power. I don’t know this for sure, but I think Facebook does allow users to flag posts as objectionable and thus to potentially be removed, which the law expressly allows here without making users or Facebook liable for removing or flagging those posts. Even if it doesn’t have such a feature, nothing in the law requires Facebook to give users that power. It’s just an option that won’t expose either the provider or its users to liability for the provision or use of such an option.

        In other words, neither providers nor users can be held liable for moderating decisions they make, nor can providers be held liable for users’ moderating decisions or vice versa. Providers are allowed to moderate whatever content they wish or however they wish, or even not at all, without being held liable for any of it, and they are allowed choose to extend that power to any or all users they wish however they wish without adding any liability to either themselves or their users. There are no mandates in the law.

        It's not a blanket grant of authority just to corporations, to enforce their own political orthodoxy, it's an intended mechanism to promote the general good.

        Absolutely. Or rather, it’s the express authorization of such a mechanism. Again, no provider is required to provide such a mechanism, nor is any particular implementation of moderation favored by the law over any other. Whether it’s manual or automatic, based on users’ inputs or the company’s, or is opt-in, opt-out, or universal, the law does not favor or disfavor any particular form of moderation or filters over any others.

        The key trick YOU try to pull is make providers into publishers with immunity such as no print publisher has ever had,

        Some of them don’t really apply to print publishers as print media typically aren’t interactive. Furthermore, last I checked, print publishers aren’t typically liable under most circumstances for removing, retracting, or failing to publish a story, which is pretty similar.

        …while retaining full control over what's supposed to be a new kind of mechanism that allows everyone to be a publisher.

        Again, no particular mechanism for achieving the desired ends is being specificied by the law. The writers of §230 wanted to give ICS providers plenty of freedom to experiment with a variety of different moderation tools and methods which may or may not involve users providing input regarding which content is objectionable or include an option for users to view or exclude some objectionable materials.

        Note that it’s immunity for moderation decisions or actions based on what either the provider or a user seems objectionable. That is, even if no users think the content is objectionable, the provider can still retain sole discretion to remove content it and it alone deems objectionable.

        Section 230 makes "electronic printers" NOT liable for what users publish, period.

        Well, it also applies to electronic publishers, and the part of §230 that makes ICS providers not liable for what users publish is not the portion you quoted. The part you quoted makes them not liable for moderation decisions, while also making the other immunity apply regardless of whether the provider moderates content or not.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      I.D. Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:29am

      Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "publish

      the nonsense about "platform v. publisher" -- a distinction that is not found in the law, but is often played up by online trolls and cranks [and masnicks].

      No, that's what YOU play up to confuse matters.

      Section 230 does NOT authorize providers to pre-emptively decide WHO and WHAT gets published according to "provider's" arbitrary ideological agenda. Only common law is up to deciding that.

      Section 230 was not written to authorize corporatate control of The Public's speech, period.

      Section 230 pre-empts "right of association" and the "First Amendment right" you allege that corporations have. Providers are immunized. They are not liable. They are not publishers. If you don't like the word "platform", it's only because you want to empower corporations with ability to control The Public's speech. "Platform" simply means "the equivalent of a printing house only on teh internets". Printers / providers are simply NOT authorized to control the published content!


      AS FOR TOPIC: lawyers wiggle however can. Conflicting views are allowed in the same suit! YES, they do try flinging all and see what sticks. That's how THE LAW works in a court case.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        No, that's what YOU play up to confuse matters.

        Says the person who doesn't understand the difference between publishing something (as in written by your employees) and being a platform that allows the public to post their comments.

        Section 230 does NOT authorize providers to pre-emptively decide WHO and WHAT gets published according to "provider's" arbitrary ideological agenda. Only common law is up to deciding that.

        Umm....that is exactly what 230 allows in its editorial functions. A platform may arbitrarily remove any comment they want to, because it is their platform and not yours.

        Section 230 was not written to authorize corporatate control of The Public's speech, period.

        The Public.....ooooohhhhh....super serious there. Except without 230, there would be no speech from The Public or anyone else on the internet.

        Section 230 pre-empts "right of association" and the "First Amendment right" you allege that corporations have.

        You mean the rights that the Supreme Court has said they have? Section 230 most definitely allows corporations to express their rightd of association and speech as they see fit. If a company doesn't want wack jobs posting on their platform, 230 allows them to remove that content without fear if liability.

        Providers are immunized. They are not liable. They are not publishers. If you don't like the word "platform", it's only because you want to empower corporations with ability to control The Public's speech. "Platform" simply means "the equivalent of a printing house only on teh internets".

        Again you misunderstand the difference between platform and publisher. The publisher is the individual who makes the comment, the platform is the method used to do so. If somebody was standing on a street corner yelling defamatory comments through a bullhorn, by your logic the company that made the bullhorn would be liable for the actions of the person.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        From the law:

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

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:15pm

        Section 230 does NOT authorize providers to pre-emptively decide WHO and WHAT gets published according to "provider's" arbitrary ideological agenda.

        Yes, it does. A service provider can preëmptively prevent a post from going through by way of filters — e.g., a filter can block any post that contains a racial slur, even though the slur is constitutionally-protected speech. That is an act of moderation. 230 allows for such moderation.

        Remember: Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is someone saying “you can’t do that anywhere” before or after threats of either violence or government intervention.

        Section 230 pre-empts "right of association" and the "First Amendment right" you allege that corporations have.

        230 actually strengthens those rights. Under 230, a platform such as Twitter can choose who gets to associate themselves with Twitter and what speech is legal on Twitter without the government saying “you’re going to host that person’s speech”. Twitter should not be compelled by law into hosting White supremacist propaganda if its owners don’t want to host it. Both you and anyone else opposed to 230 have yet to offer a credible argument for why the law should make Twitter host such speech.

        Providers are immunized. They are not liable. They are not publishers.

        …yes? I mean, the whole point of 230 — which you clearly know is true despite your obtuse attempts to hide your knowledge of the truth — is that legal liability for speech lies with the responsible parties, not with a platform itself. The major exception is when a platform’s owners/operators are directly involved with crafting or publishing that speech (e.g., Backpage).

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:32pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        Section 230 does NOT authorize providers to pre-emptively decide WHO and WHAT gets published according to "provider's" arbitrary ideological agenda.

        Printers / providers are simply NOT authorized to control the published content!

        From the law:

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

        (2) Civil liability
        No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
        (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
        (B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).

        (1) states that an ICS provider cannot be treated as the publisher of content provided by another internet content provider. That doesn’t mean it lacks the inherent powers or rights of a publisher, or that it is not, in fact, a publisher. This is only with regards to liability.

        (2)(A) clearly authorizes providers—whether you call them platforms or publishers—to decide, preemptively or after-the-fact, what content can be published based on the provider’s belief that the material is objectionable. It doesn’t matter if it is biased or not, or if the material is constitutional or not. All that matters is what the provider—or its users—believes is or may be objectionable.

        Nowhere in the law are “platforms” mentioned.

        Only common law is up to deciding that.

        Again, I don’t think you understand what “common law” actually is. Whatever; it’s irrelevant here.

        Section 230 was not written to authorize corporatate control of The Public's speech, period.

        Whether or not that was the intent, the language of the law clearly does exactly that to the extent “The Public’s speech” appears or tries to appear on a corporate-owned platform.

        Section 230 pre-empts "right of association" and the "First Amendment right" you allege that corporations have.

        No, it does not. No law can “pre-empt” a constitutional right outside of certain exceptions that don’t apply here.

        Providers are immunized. They are not liable.

        True…

        They are not publishers.

        Wrong. They cannot be treated as publishers under civil, state, or local laws of user-generated content. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t publishers.

        If you don't like the word "platform", it's only because you want to empower corporations with ability to control The Public's speech. "Platform" simply means "the equivalent of a printing house only on teh internets".

        No, it’s because neither the term “platform” nor any other term with the definition you gave (or a similar one) is mentioned anywhere in §230. §230 applies to any provider of an interactive computer service, regardless of whether they function like a printing house or like a publisher.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        Section 230 pre-empts "right of association"

        No it does not, as association is a mutual agreement, and not a unilateral agreement.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      I.D. Sent, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:30am

      Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "publish

      Whew! Over twenty attempts! I can't tell whether Techdirt gave in and stopped individual okaying or my usual TOR browser technique eventually worked.

      And of course Techdirt won't say!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: No, YOU bro!

        The spam filters aren’t perfect, obviously.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:16pm

        Your desperation to hatefuck the comments section would be amusing if it weren’t so pitiful.

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

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        I can pretty much guarantee it was the latter.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        sir if may?

        A tor browser does not work like that when it comes to comments” “tries to hold in chuckles” you already had access to the site. I could go on but your trying so hard here in a way I feel like I’m talking to a kid who keeps saying he will mess up the house if you don’t give him candy even though you already know you will just tell him he’s going to clean it up or he’s going to have a bad house “chuckles”

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

      • icon
        techflaws (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 9:49pm

        Re: Re: No, YOU try to turn "providers" into "pub

        No worries, we always recognize your assholishness and flag your BS. You're welcome.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:32am

    Benioff's comments about Section 230 could also mean he's fully aware that a 230 appeal wouldn't happen until after his lawsuit is ovet and done with. He would get the 230 protections and then get them removed for everyone else

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:33am

    Abolish Copyright

    "the most dangerous law on the books right now," ... should be "abolished."

    That sounds more like copyright than section 230.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:37am

    more entertainment..

    This is interesting as its ASIF, taking money from someone means you KNOW what they are doing, what service they are giving or selling.

    I wonder what he would say about Parks? Being locations to stand up and declare your opinions..and is seldom used.
    I wonder if he has ever noticed there was a Truth in adverts law, that got SHOT down.

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

  • identicon
    David, 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:38am

    I'm tired of "hypocrisy" complaints for proposed law changes

    That someone wants the playing field to be on a different level is completely valid even if they do not care to be the only player at that level.

    Why would they even lobby for a change of law if they were fine to be the only one playing at that level?

    There is no point in "leading by example" and thus demonstrate that one would be unaffected by a law oneself, wanting it only for the sake of impacting others.

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

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:04am

      Re: I'm tired of "hypocrisy" complaints for proposed law changes

      I understand what you mean generally but, let's think this through...

      I agree one can use the law and operate within the law while seeking to change it. It's not automatically hypocritical to fail to "lead by example". But if you are calling for repeal of a law that is currently protecting you for actions you took, you must kinda necessarily be saying one of two things: we deserve to be punished but won't be, OR we would have done things differently had this law not existed and that would be better (generally I imagine the latter is how people would put it. And that could often be fair enough!)

      So... Salesforce is being sued for facilitating human trafficking because Backpage used its service. Their legal and public response is they had nothing to do with that - they just offer an online service that any company can use, and they cannot be held liable (legally or morally) for Backpage's actions.

      So what is Benioff saying? Is he saying that, in fact, Salesforce would have not allowed Backpage to use its services had section 230 not existed? That they knew they could be accused of facilitating sex trafficking but were comfortable in the knowledge that they had a legal shield - and that next time, if Section 230 were repealed, they would do things differently?

      Somehow I doubt it.

      So I would say that in this case, yes, an accusation of hypocrisy is warranted, at least until he clarifies how his own company's use of 230 protections factors into his opinion here.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re: I'm tired of "hypocrisy" complaints for propos

        You've outline two possitions Benioff can have (if he's being consistent):
        1) Salesforce deserves to be punished for sex trafficing.
        2) Salesforce would have acted differently if the law didn't immunize them.

        I want to look at 2 a bit more. If we take that as his position, that also means that Salesforce would/will engage in sex trafficing.... if they think the law will let them get away with it.

        I don't think there's any internally consistent argument Benioff can make that keeps his current position and doesn't make him look like a monster (I'm going to assume that most people agree that chosing to engage in sex trafficing, of others, for profit makes someone a monster).

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

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: I'm tired of "hypocrisy" complaints for pr

          I want to look at 2 a bit more. If we take that as his position, that also means that Salesforce would/will engage in sex trafficing.... if they think the law will let them get away with it.

          Yeah, precisely. And that's obviously not what he's saying.

          The only even potentially internally consistent argument would be that he's calling for changes to 230 that would exempt Facebook but still immunize Salesforce. But to make that argument he'd have to actually explore and define the distinction - which is something 230 attackers never seem to do, because when you try, you realize it's not so simple and that your hatred of 230 might be a bit confused. So they tend to just throw their hands up and go "well it's obvious! someone else figure out how to make it law!"

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

        • icon
          ECA (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re: I'm tired of "hypocrisy" complaints for pr

          Lets ask..

          If you kick the Dog, and no one cares, is it Bad..
          If you kick the dog and the Police dont care, is it bad.
          If you kick the dog and make the Owner mad, is it bad.

          There is somewhat of a conclusion to this...
          IF they wish to add it.
          Dont resind the law, add to it, that If an illegal thing is happening, that Any service or person can report it.

          do you think it will happen, IF' they will/can make money from it..NOT ON YOUR LIFE...that it capitalism.
          But then they would be a whistle blower, and put in Jail..

          And there are no morals in laws. Laws are(should be) only for the interaction of more then 1 person.

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

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 10:48am

    If it were at all possible to attack Section 230 without lying, one would think that it would have happened at least once by now.

    But as I.D. Iot proves above, don't hold your breath waiting.

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

  • identicon
    TDR, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:17am

    "Political speech, on the other hand, is at the top of the protected food chain, and there's no way that the Supreme Court would bless any law from Congress that would "require truthful advertising on social media platforms." "

    A little confused, are you saying you don't want politicians and their ads to be truthful?

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

    • identicon
      A Guy, 17 Oct 2019 @ 11:52am

      Re:

      I like the first amendment so I'll explain one viewpoint on the issue. It's better to let politicians lie than to have the government mandate what is and is not the truth in most cases. This protects society overall because we are free to call the politician a liar and ridicule them for lying to us. In the alternative system, if we decided a government mandated truth was in fact wrong we could get in legal trouble for espousing a different opinion.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Or in other words: Politicians are legally entitled to be wrong

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

        • icon
          Ben L (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 2:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Unless they're testifying under oath, they have no legal entitlement to be right, at least in the U.S. of A. This also applies everyone, with exceptions for defamation and lying to law enforcement.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 18 Oct 2019 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re:

        It's better to let politicians lie than to have the government mandate what is and is not the truth in most cases.

        For example, imagine that the office that determined the truth or falsehood of political ads were part of the executive branch, and answered to Donald Trump. Or maybe if you've eaten recently, don't imagine that.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      No, I want politicians to be truthful, but I also know that they often are not -- and that any law to require them to be truthful would be thrown out by the Supreme Court -- and for good reason. Defining what is "true" and what is a "lie" is often (not always, but frequently) a subjective discussion, rather than an objective one. And policing that would inevitably lead to censorship of political speech.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2019 @ 1:59pm

        Re: Re:

        Plus there are already laws to cover the situation. Intentionally stating a falsehood in a political ad with the intent of harming your opponent's election chances is obvious defamation (IMO, anyway), and even though the bar is higher because they are public figures, it wouldn't be too hard to prove actual malice.

        But then, that's why political ads often don't use outright lies (or if they do, they originate from some "not approved by candidate" PAC) - they use misinterpretations, innuendo, and quotes out of context.

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

  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 2:02pm

    Marc is an idiot

    It's simplistic to call people idiots, but sometimes it's true. He likes to distill complex ideas into simple slogans. "Break up Facebook." "Remove Section 230."

    I mean, seriously, if you Google-search "marc benioff quotes" you'll find entire web pages devoted to his "bon mots" or perhaps not so bon. This is no exception. He likes attention, and he likes getting people polarized so he says things.

    Sure, it's not vetted by a PR department. He hired the PR department head! Sure, it may annoy some people -- he lives for that.

    Smart guy. Idiot nonetheless.

    E

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2019 @ 3:27pm

    The jokes just write themselves sometimes...

    Man defending himself with shield says shields are terrible and should be abolished.

    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, 17 Oct 2019 @ 5:52pm

    Altogether now!

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each post that he'd made
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.