Fight For The Future Wants To Help You Tell The FCC Where To Shove The NTIA's Anti-Section 230 Petition

from the good-for-them dept

We recently filed comments in the still ongoing FCC comment period regarding the NTIA's petition to get the FCC to reinterpret Section 230 to match with the President's bizarrely warped view of social media content moderation. I filed personal comments from my perspective running Techdirt, and we also filed more official comments as an organization. Both were filed during the initial comment period, but we're now in the middle of a second comment period -- officially for "responses" to the initial comments -- which are due by September 17th.

It really is not particularly difficult to file a comment with the FCC, though if you do, I recommend that you write out a letter and submit a PDF that clearly states the issue and your argument (rather than just ranting incoherently) as many FCC commenters have been known to do.

However, if you want it to be even easier, the good folks over at Fight for the Future have announced that they've set up a new site, SaveOnlineSpeech.org to make it even easier to file a comment.

The comments will be submitted directly to the FCC’s public docket, which so far has been mostly filled with nonsense, including identical astroturf comments backed by AT&T –– some that still include boilerplate “XYZ group” language –– and hundreds of comments from an anti-LGBTQ hate group backing the executive order. 

The page notes that, while there may be very real problems with how big internet companies are managed and how platforms are run, messing with Section 230 is not the way to fix that.

There’s no question that Big Tech companies have amassed tremendous power to limit expression, spread dangerous misinformation, silence dissent, and manipulate public opinion. These are serious problems that impact our lives, and it’s long past time the government took action to address this dangerous behavior by enacting strong legislation to prevent corporate data harvesting, banning abusive practices like microtargeted advertising, and taking on Silicon Valley’s monopolistic business practices at their root. But this Trump executive order, and similarly misguided proposals from Democrats to rip up Section 230, won’t do any of that. Instead, they’ll make these problems worse.

Punching a hole in Section 230 will allow any president to decide what speech is allowed on the Internet. If the government doesn’t like how social media websites moderate content, the government can simply shut those companies down. That might seem like a good idea when someone you support is in the Oval Office, but political power changes quickly. No matter what your political beliefs are, we should all be able to agree that letting governments and corporations restrict the free flow of information is a bad idea.

Feel free to check it out if you're looking for a way to file a comment, and the FCC page was not user-friendly for you.

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Filed Under: comments, fcc, ntia, section 230


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  • identicon
    Glenn, 15 Sep 2020 @ 3:58am

    Better to just vote the GOP out of office in November.

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

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 5:34am

      Re:

      Alas, this is a bipartisan problem.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2020 @ 7:17am

        Re: Re:

        The Libertarian Party does not have this problem.

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

      • icon
        R.H. (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 8:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, unfortunately, Biden has made plenty of anti-230 comments in the past. This is why we don't want something like this to happen now because he might just "overlook" reversing it if elected.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2020 @ 8:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And if I’m being honest, I’d rather fight one war with Biden, than a million with Trump.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Biden is likely to have people around him who see sense and may defer to more knowledgeable people when a controversial discussion is presented. He's also capable of evolving his views on a subject, even if you have a record of him having a different opinion in the past, and may well allow real discussion of the issue before signing any order. We can't trust he will definitely do the right thing, but there's a possibility.

          Trump will surround himself with ideologues who dislike being refused a profit avenue, and political allies who want to push their agenda on platforms that currently refuse them access, and a track record of using his office to settle petty personal grievances without consulting anyone else.

          As with most subjects, Biden is not the perfect candidate, but he's way better than the alternative.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 3:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Biden is likely to have people around him who see sense and may defer to more knowledgeable people when a controversial discussion is presented."

            Oh, Biden will have a lot of competent people around him, with great amounts of knowledge and a good grasp of where the line of compromise lies. Too bad they'll be working for his campaign financiers rather than for the electorate.

            "He's also capable of evolving his views on a subject, even if you have a record of him having a different opinion in the past..."

            Well, when he screwed the public - and his own party - over as a favor to credit card companies he was certainly still speaking the party line all the way up until he sank the dagger in the back of his party peers. So he can demonstrably evolve his views on any subject while moving in the exact opposite direction.

            Harris has her work cut out for her.

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

            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 12:07pm

              Harris' dark work

              Considering her rise to power was by utilizing the funnel-to-prison pipeline, I'm worried too many of her shadowy masters will keep her in lockstep with the fascist police state.

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

              • icon
                Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 2:12pm

                her shadowy masters

                Huh. I didn’t think you were a conspiracy theorist.

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

                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 2:49pm

                  That's "Fringe Hypothesist!"

                  No. All our federal politicians have to operate with campaign supporters, not just direct monetary contributors. They all operate with superpacs and dark money And a good portion of them require policy concessions for their support. Ms. Harris is like the rest of them, and I'd expect (but haven't confirmed) her most influential benefactors would come from those with close ties to the justice system, considering she has close ties to the justice system. There really are shadowy masters.

                  That tells me she's not willing to reform the system to the degree that it would need to be reformed to stop the killing and assure the rule of law is sufficiently upheld.

                  According to Professor Lessig has argued, big money has been determining primaries at least as early as Boss Tweed. Since then, the influence of petitioning citizens to their elected officials in changing positions and policy to be exactly zero. It's a flat line. Our elected officials do what they want once in office.

                  Perhaps I was being hyperbolic (or at least sensational), though some of our plutocrats actually do hang out with each other cackling over bigoted jokes and expensive cigars in dark conservatories while plotting world domination. That has a history in the US dating back to our robber barons, and the cigars and conservatories have far from gone out of style.

                  And to be fair, Osama Bin Laden did, in fact, create a large complex plot to hijack airliners and crash them into important buildings in the US. Sometimes IRL, plots are not merely conspired but carried out to completion.

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

  • icon
    TheLizard (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 5:04am

    Neutrality

    What happened to wanting neutrality from Internet Corporations?

    Most people would prefer fairness, I think.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 8:15am

      Neutrality... is not the goal

      Most people would prefer fairness, I think.

      Not the ones complaining about 230, they want special protections above and beyond what everyone else gets, special carve-outs that let them say whatever they want with the platforms not allowed to kick them off.

      That aside, even if the desire really was 'neutrality' the platforms have every right to decide that they'd rather not host certain speech, just like anyone else with private property, and if those that are given the boot from the current platforms want places where their speech is welcome they can create those platforms themselves, while everyone else can practice their surprised faces for when(not if) said platform faceplants right out the gate again.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 12:01pm

      Re: Neutrality

      People want "neutrality" from infrastructure providers, for good reason. Your access to the internet itself is a commodity. You're trying to access the entire internet. Neutrality makes sense there.

      Neutrality does not make sense for specific websites. You don't expect "neutrality" from Google. You deliberately want Google to recommend better links. If you wanted a neutral Google you'd get totally random links each time.

      If you don't understand the difference... not sure I can help you.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 2:08pm

        The Google Bubble

        When I want to do searches specifically from Google, I'll actually use DuckDuckGo's bang-codes (!g or !gn for Google News, !gis for Google images) to route my search to Google to avoid the Google's profile customization for me.

        That's partially because when I do a Google search I want to see the hits that others doing the same search are likely to see (though granted, they have a bubble).

        Granted, there are some things I like. I like my news searches to omit Breitbart or any other known misinformation tabloids, but at the same time Google's customization has become... feature rich and it's too tedious for me to individually decipher what they do and turn them off.

        So yeah, DuckDuckGo + bang codes.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 16 Sep 2020 @ 12:07am

      Re: Neutrality

      "What happened to wanting neutrality from Internet Corporations?"

      Nothing. The packets will still be treated equally regardless of their destination, which is what net neutrality is about. If you think NN was about the content of the packets, you're been lied to.

      "Most people would prefer fairness, I think"

      Yes, which is why we're advocating for section 230 to continue to protect people from punishment for actions they did not commit.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2020 @ 6:44am

    Net neutrality was abolished by the FCC. It seems ATT, Comcast, etc., didn't want to be neutral.

    Now it seems, that in addition to not being neutral, it seems they want to control what's left of the websites also.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 8:22am

    When your biggest supporters are liars and assholes...

    The comments will be submitted directly to the FCC’s public docket, which so far has been mostly filled with nonsense, including identical astroturf comments backed by AT&T –– some that still include boilerplate “XYZ group” language –– and hundreds of comments from an anti-LGBTQ hate group backing the executive order.

    It's rather telling if the main support for the (unconstitutional) order is basically spam and a pile of bigots(cesspit of bigots?), really shows the kind of people/groups that support stripping platforms' ability to moderate.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 15 Sep 2020 @ 1:49pm

    I have a problem with all of this.

    As a start, lets say that LAws are supposed to Cover everything, Not 1 thing. Not 1 group. Not 1 company or this or that.
    You are not to create Favoritism.

    You cant tell a news paper that the Letters to the Editor, Being published, are NOW considered An OPINION from the Paper itself.
    You Cant suggest that a Citizens(not a representative of the company), is NOW representing the Publisher/CEO/OWNER.

    Why do we have Specialists In government to represent Only certain aspects of What is needed? We have Doctors in charge of Certain areas, FOR REASONS. And if Mr. Trump would shut up, He would NOT be held responsible for his OWN COMMENTS. It would be those sections of the Gov. responsible FOR the actions NEEDED.

    Parent and many kids.
    Parent demands "WHO DID IT"

    What do the kids do?
    All point at 1 person?
    Dont point and just stand there?
    Point at each other?

    Which would you Choose?
    That 1 stand with all the fingers pointing at them?
    All of them, because we are NOW as confused as they are?
    Everyone?

    Most of the time, Few/None know who did it.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Sep 2020 @ 7:50am

    Filing

    Filing a comment is easy. Filing a comment without profanity or telling them what I truly think of them and their actions is hard.

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


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