As A Parting Shot, Tulsi Gabbard Teams Up With Paul Gosar To Introduce Yet Another Unconstitutional Attack On Section 230

from the tis-the-season dept

Back in October, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (who is leaving Congress in a few weeks) and Paul Gosar (whose had six of his own siblings tell voters that their brother should not be in Congress), teamed up to introduce an incredibly stupid anti-Section 230 bill, which would take 230's liability protections away from any site that does basic data tracking or has an algorithmically generated feed.

Apparently that wasn't enough, because they've now teamed up to introduce a second anti-230 bill that is (would you believe it?) even more ridiculous. They're calling it the "Break Up Big Tech Act."

The Breakup Big Tech Act of 2020 would take away legal immunity from interactive computer service providers that engage in certain manipulative activities, including social media companies who act as publishers by moderating and censoring content. Specifically, the Breakup Big Tech Act of 2020 would remove legal immunity for providers that engage in the following activities:

  • Selling and displaying personalized as well as contextual advertising without user’s consent
  • Collecting data for commercial purposes other than the direct sale of the interactive computer service, i.e. turning the user into a commodity or otherwise monetizing the transmission of content
  • Acting as a marketplace in the digital space by facilitating the placement of items into the stream of commerce
  • Employing digital products and designs intended to engage and addict users to the service
  • Acting as a publisher by using algorithms to moderate or censor content without opt-in from users

Now there are certainly plenty of legitimate questions to be had about that list of activities, and whether or not they should be allowed, or how and if they should be regulated. Those should all be subject to some level of debate and discussion. But to say "just wipe out 230's liability protections" for any company that does any of those things... is legitimately crazy.

This bill is going nowhere, because this Congress is basically over, so I won't go point by point on how stupid a bill this is, but I'll just note that last point is punishing a company for making editorial choices, and the 1st Amendment would probably like to explain to Gabbard and Gosar just how incredibly unconstitutional that would be.

Gabbard still really seems to be smarting from the fact that her dumb lawsuit against Google was easily dismissed. But here's the key: the lawsuit was dismissed on 1st Amendment grounds, not because of 230. And changing 230 doesn't change the 1st Amendment (which she swore to protect and uphold, but apparently doesn't care about).

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, break up big tech act, paul gosar, section 230, tulsi gabbard


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  • icon
    GHB (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:20pm

    How about decentralized internet?

    Already, there are activists having solutions that are better than crippling section 230, such as a decentralized internet and means to fund websites without ads (not done yet)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 12:24pm

      Re: How about decentralized internet?

      Ironically, that bill is probably the only way such means would even come about.

      There's no incentive for web services to create or switch to alternative revenue streams due to the sheer lucrativity of the established advertising market. Short of a massive revolt of users which won't happen because it would require A) Users to know and care about what they are giving up by not doing so. B) Users to be willing and able to be inconvenienced by not utilizing the services that internet provides until changes are made. (Which if COVID-19 has proven anything about the US, inconvenience is something no-one there will tolerate for even a nanosecond.)

      Sadly, this language seems to be deliberate. As going against this bill would enable the pro-corporate wing of both parties to claim that the public was fine with targeted advertising, mechanisms to encourage addiction, being degraded to sub-human commodity product status, and constant invasive data collection, in addition to mass censorship. Definitely a carefully crafted poison pill.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:51pm

    UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at all.

    (about attempt #40! -- Nope, just the LIE: Comment Held for Moderation...)

    To begin with, are permitted entities that agreed to serve The Public. Period.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:52pm

      Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at all.

      They're NOT Publishers. Would you stand for an ISP prohbiting you from pirates sites? -- NO.

      So why do you wish corporations to arbitrarily control vital 1A speech?

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

    • icon
      AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:57pm

      Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at all.

      Comment held for moderation indicates it was considered by a spam filter to be SPAM. Nothing insidious about that.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:12pm

        You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

        People have been trying to explain to them for years how the spam filter works without success, however they ignore anything said and go back to the same garbage conspiracy theories about how it can't be because they're deliberately spamming the site and/or making use of posting methods that trigger the spam filter but must be because the site owners have a plot against their pathetic ass to mildly annoy them by delaying their comments yet still allow those comments to be posted.

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

        • icon
          AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:32pm

          Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

          I suppose I probably would, but being called a sockpuppet really pushes my buttons.

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

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:49pm

            Re: Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

            I suppose I probably would, but being called a sockpuppet really pushes my buttons.

            Well, then quit looking like Geigner's sock puppet!

            Again, you're ardently defending the site, claim to know EXACTLY how all the filtering works, claim that Geigner is an expert, claim that you speak for "the community", and yet were absent 58 months!

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:29pm

            Re: Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

            So long as you keep falling for it they're going to keep doing it, so by responding rather than flagging and otherwise ignoring them you merely ensure that they'll keep calling you that.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:56pm

          Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

          People have been trying to explain to them for years how the spam filter works without success,

          And every day, I get varied results! It's not consistent to say the least. -- All the text will go in, for instance, if I persist. That implies an Admin gets around to noticing me and lets in.

          This is definitely a LIE: "Comment Held for Moderation..." because mine NEVER come out. Period.

          Now, second complaint is my comment are ALSO "hidden" as Techdirt euphemizes it's censoring: it adds an editorial warning and requires extra effort of a click, and the fanboys simply NEVER get their comments hidden, so it's VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION, period.

          You are another who defend the site. Maz won't ever state anything, NONE of this is written anywhere, and onel Maz / site can makes such statements. Fact is that YOU are simply blowing smoke.

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

          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:37pm

            Re: Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

            This is definitely a LIE: "Comment Held for Moderation..." because mine NEVER come out. Period.

            I know you will take this the wrong way, lie, mislead, and flip out about this, but you are the one lying. I have explained this to you before, directly. If legit comments are caught by the spam filter, we let them through. The problem with YOUR comments is that UNLIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING who has their comments caught in the spam filter, you then follow up being caught in the spam filter by RESUBMITTING VARIATIONS ON THAT COMMENT dozens of times. So, no, we don't free them up IN THAT LIMITED CASE because then it would just totally overload the site with all of your stupid attempts.

            If you would just STOP SPAMMING, then (1) your comments wouldn't be caught by the spam filter but (2) when they are, we'd release them when we got to them. But YOU are making the choice to be an asshole and to fill up our spam folder, which, of course, makes it even more of a fucking pain to find and release accidentally caught comments.

            Finally: grow the fuck up already.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:07pm

            Re: Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

            “And everyday I get varied results”

            Sounds like a personal problem lol

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

          • icon
            techflaws (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 4:25am

            Re: Re: You'd have beeter luck explaining anything to a wall

            so it's VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION, period.

            It's idiot discrimination, asshat.

            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, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:47pm

        Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at a

        Comment held for moderation indicates it was considered by a spam filter to be SPAM. Nothing insidious about that.

        Maybe not "insidious", and I didn't imply that to more than vexation level.

        But since ALL of my text got in after re-arranged, then it's NEITHER a simple NOR an effective filter!

        What good is it, then? HERE I AM, after the filters mistook me for spam!

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Dec 2020 @ 6:08am

          Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

          "What good is it, then? HERE I AM, after the filters mistook me for spam!"

          Obviously pretty effective when we end up seeing only one of your demented assertions rather than thirty iterations of the same.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at a

        Let’s be honest if he did get censored he deserved it lol

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:09pm

      Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at all.

      The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that corporations have rights.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:23pm

        Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at a

        The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that corporations have rights.

        And do YOU support that notion?

        Do YOU believe that corporations are PERSONS in more than a similar sense, having been granted such by various statutes?

        Do you disagree that corporations don't exist at all until AFTER have requested permission from The Public to exist, having agree to SERVE us?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

          “Do you support that notion”

          If it’s hurting you and not me lol

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 6:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

          And do YOU support that notion?

          My opinion on the matter is irrelevant, but I’d say that there isn’t any way for both corporations to exist and for people who run corporations to have rights without corporations having rights.

          Do YOU believe that corporations are PERSONS in more than a similar sense, having been granted such by various statutes?

          Legally, they are persons. Outside the right to vote, they are treated no differently than citizens by the law. They own property, make declarations, buy and sell things, pay taxes, sue, get sued, etc.

          Do you disagree that corporations don't exist at all until AFTER have requested permission from The Public to exist, having agree to SERVE us?

          The permission part, yes. The serve part, no. I would prefer otherwise, but the law pretty much says that there is no such obligation.

          And, again, my opinion doesn’t have any bearing on what the law is. The Supreme Court has made it clear multiple times that corporations get constitutional protections, too, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. My opinion that they should receive at least some of them is based purely on logic, but even if I felt differently, that would make absolutely no difference in the long run, and I don’t see any reason to try to overturn it. I’ve no interest in appeals from emotion when it comes to this sort of thing.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 10:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And do YOU support that notion?

          We know that if the corporation is named the RIAA you will give yourself a herniated disc to make sure somebody kisses Cary Sherman's feet. So pissing and moaning whether someone else supports "that notion" is a waste of your time.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Dec 2020 @ 6:20am

          Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

          "Do YOU believe that corporations are PERSONS in more than a similar sense, having been granted such by various statutes?"

          Irrelevant, because the issue involved relates to whether people can own property. A platform - or a bar, restaurant, or mall - has owners. They are free to set the rules on under which circumstances random strangers should be free to stay on their premises.

          You keep arguing that "Fridays" and "MacDonald's" shouldn't be free to evict people for pissing on their floor - because both those franchises are corporations.

          I'm sure the chinese commissariat is happy you're quoting Maoist doctrine so fervently here, but most other people are usually leery about having the state seize the means of production for "public benefit" the way you keep arguing.

          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, 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:24pm

        Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at a

        Do you think that corporations do or should exist independently of The People's benefit? Or are we to loose immortal monsters on ourselves?

        And finally, I state "Constituional rights". Corporations are NOT in the Constitution. In fact, they're nowhere at all! They're just legal fictions.

        Now, the absolute clincher: corporations CANNOT be citizens. They are not born in any "natural" way nor can be "naturalized"! They're just an arbitrary grouping of "natural" persons.

        So, "person" is a convenient term for some similarities, yet they're NOT persons as extreme lawyers, romneys, and masnicks believe.

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

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 6:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

          The Supreme Court stated that corporations have the exact same protections from the First Amendment as human persons do. Those are constitutional rights, and corporations have them. And the Constitution doesn’t say it applies only to citizens but to “persons”, and corporations are legally persons.

          Now, the absolute clincher: corporations CANNOT be citizens. They are not born in any "natural" way nor can be "naturalized"! They're just an arbitrary grouping of "natural" persons.

          No one said that corporations are citizens. Here’s the thing, though: citizenship only matters for voting, number of representatives, running in an election, holding public office, and residency. Residency is technically taken care of by the application for a corporation, and no one counts corporations in a census, so that just means that corporations can’t vote in an election, run in an election, or hold any public office. Everything else, including 1A rights, is guaranteed for all persons, not just all citizens.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 12:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rig

            corporations can’t vote in an election, run in an election, or hold any public office

            Go to DC, stand on the senate floor for a a day, and tell me that again with a straight face.

            There are plenty of ways for corporations to side step those few limitations, and they have, and continue to, abuse every single loophole they can find.

            The Supreme Court stated that corporations have the exact same protections from the First Amendment as human persons do.

            The parent is making the argument that Corporations should NOT be given those protections. Your response is the equivalent of whining: "It already is so, therefore it can never be changed. Nor should my opinion or anyone else's be considered."

            "The law" in your case is being used as an excuse not as a reason for why things should remain the same.

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

            • icon
              bhull242 (profile), 11 Dec 2020 @ 3:20pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional

              Go to DC, stand on the senate floor for a a day, and tell me that again with a straight face.

              That corporations have influence on Congress doesn’t change the accuracy of what I said. They can’t vote in elections, run for office, or hold a public office.

              There are plenty of ways for corporations to side step those few limitations, and they have, and continue to, abuse every single loophole they can find.

              Sure. I never said the law was foolproof. However, that has nothing to do with this discussion, which has nothing to do with sidestepping limitations or abusing loopholes at all. It also has nothing to do with corruption or the outsized influence of corporations on elected officials while they’re in office. Facebook doesn’t use its platform to lobby or petition public officials, after all, and its ability to moderate its own platform is a directly intended result of the law as it is.

              The parent is making the argument that Corporations should NOT be given those protections. Your response is the equivalent of whining: "It already is so, therefore it can never be changed. Nor should my opinion or anyone else's be considered."

              I don’t see why they shouldn’t be given those protections. Corporations are ultimately run by humans, so how would one regulate corporations’ speech without infringing on the free speech rights of the individuals running that corporation?

              Furthermore, this position on corporations’ constitutional rights is a culmination of multiple Supreme Court decisions—some pretty recent—on the Constitution. To overturn that, you would either have to convince the Supreme Court to overturn a significant amount of precedent—which is incredibly unlikely—or amend the constitution to expressly exclude corporations from constitutional protections—which is also unlikely to happen. In other words, what the law is in this case is unlikely to change regardless of what you or I think it should be. I’m just being realistic here.

              Ultimately, our opinions on whether or not corporations should have constitutional rights doesn’t really mean anything in regards to what should be done about §230. Remember, we’re not talking about whether or not the Constitution should be changed or whether or not a specific Supreme Court decision should be overturned; we’re talking about whether or not §230 should be repealed or amended. While what constitutional law is in this area is important, what constitutional law should be tells us nothing about what to do about §230.

              "The law" in your case is being used as an excuse not as a reason for why things should remain the same.

              You have not provided a compelling reason to overturn the status quo. Your justification for changing it is just that you don’t like corporations having power over the platforms that they own and run. Most find that idea antithetical to capitalism and basic human rights to property.

              Again, you cannot limit the rights of corporations without also limiting the rights of the individuals who run them (other than things like voting in a public election or running for or holding public office).

              At any rate, my point in this discussion was to refute your claims that corporations don’t have any constitutional rights at all (without any reason given why they shouldn’t) by pointing out that they do. You were not simply saying that corporations shouldn’t have constitutional rights; you were saying that they don’t. My or your opinion on the question of whether or not they should have rights does not change what the law currently is. For the purposes of this discussion, I am not arguing about what the law should be but what the law is.

              If you had said, “Corporations should not have constitutional rights,” then I would have been more interested in discussing whether or not I agree with what the law is, though I’d still point out that the law in this area is unlikely to change anytime soon. But you did not. You said, “Corporations do NOT have constitutional rights.” That’s a very different claim altogether, one that should be supported with facts rather than personal opinions. It’s also easily refuted.

              Besides, the reason Techdirt bring up the 1A in these discussions and articles regarding §230 is to show that repealing §230 won’t actually make corporations unable to lawfully moderate their platforms. It’s not an argument about what the law should be but an argument against certain (false) claims about what the law is (and what §230 actually does). A discussion on what the law should be won’t make that point invalid.

              Most of the arguments about what the law should be from Techdirt have little to do with constitutional rights of corporations, anyways. For those arguments, we turn to other things like property rights, the free speech rights of users (which gets a bit complicated and has to do with how platforms would react to changes in the law), the fact that you always have other alternative platforms you can use, etc. We might also use analogies, like a privately-owned bulletin board on privately owned property viewable from a major street that the owner allows anyone to post things on. Note that that has nothing to do with corporations having or not having constitutional rights at all.

              Basically, I’m saying that on this specific discussion with regards to corporations and §230, our opinions on what the law should be with regards to corporations having or not having constitutional rights are ultimately irrelevant to this particular discussion. I’m also saying that the law in this specific area is highly unlikely to change in the specific way you want, but that’s not my main point. My main point is that your claims about what the law is are incorrect.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2020 @ 4:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constituti

                That corporations have influence on Congress doesn’t change the accuracy of what I said. They can’t vote in elections, run for office, or hold a public office.

                Sure. I never said the law was foolproof. However, that has nothing to do with this discussion, which has nothing to do with sidestepping limitations or abusing loopholes at all. It also has nothing to do with corruption or the outsized influence of corporations on elected officials while they’re in office. Facebook doesn’t use its platform to lobby or petition public officials, after all, and its ability to moderate its own platform is a directly intended result of the law as it is.

                There are multiple stories on this very site that disprove Facebook is not using it's platform for lobbying purposes, but that is irrelevant to this conversation.

                My point was that the law is ineffective. It does ban these practices, but in reality the law has so many loopholes that such bans are unenforceable. The reason why corporate voting rights are relevant to this discussion, is because you brought it up.

                I don’t see why they shouldn’t be given those protections. Corporations are ultimately run by humans, so how would one regulate corporations’ speech without infringing on the free speech rights of the individuals running that corporation?

                Because as you said: Corporations are ultimately run by humans. Those humans running those corporations have rights themselves, that they are fully capable of utilizing without needing extra protection. A corporation is not a thinking entity. It's actions are solely the result of decision making performed by the humans that run it. A corporation has no more ability to refuse to break the law, or stop those wishing to break it, than the chair you are sitting on. As such it is ridiculous to apply the law to corporations as if they have control over their actions. I.e. As a person. Corporations are property. The law may say otherwise, but in doing so the law grants extra protections that are not necessary and creates issues enforcing the law against those who are actually responsible for breaking it.

                Furthermore, this position on corporations’ constitutional rights is a culmination of multiple Supreme Court decisions—some pretty recent—on the Constitution. To overturn that, you would either have to convince the Supreme Court to overturn a significant amount of precedent—which is incredibly unlikely—or amend the constitution to expressly exclude corporations from constitutional protections—which is also unlikely to happen. In other words, what the law is in this case is unlikely to change regardless of what you or I think it should be. I’m just being realistic here.

                Agreed it would be difficult to change the law as is.

                Ultimately, our opinions on whether or not corporations should have constitutional rights doesn’t really mean anything in regards to what should be done about §230. Remember, we’re not talking about whether or not the Constitution should be changed or whether or not a specific Supreme Court decision should be overturned; we’re talking about whether or not §230 should be repealed or amended. While what constitutional law is in this area is important, what constitutional law should be tells us nothing about what to do about §230.

                Except the First Amendment directly forbids the government enforcing a particular view on a person's speech. If the law considers a corporation equal to a person, then by definition the First Amendment applies. The reason §230 is brought up is because of the legal fiction created by bureaucrats wanting to illegally silence the people, and using the potential repeal of §230 as the leverage by which to force companies into compliance. An act which should be illegal in and of itself. It's effectively saying "That's a nice business ya got there, be a shame if somethin happened to it. Hows about you silence ya people for us and we'll make sure ya business keeps runnin?" The government is attempting an illegal end run around the First Amendment using businesses as forced accomplices under penalty of death. That alone should entitle the businesses to compensation, and the potential repeal of §230 blocked by the courts. The repeal of "corporate personhood" would make that argument more difficult to make. As it would need to be shown that the rights of the people running the company were being infringed on by the government. Instead of the company itself which would lack such rights in that case. So no, our opinions on corporate rights do matter in discussions about §230. If anything, my opinion gives the bureaucrats more wiggle room, whereas yours does not.

                You have not provided a compelling reason to overturn the status quo.

                The statement I made was to point out that you didn't respond to the original AC's post. You just reiterated the law as an implication that the original AC's opinion was invalid because of it.

                Your justification for changing it is just that you don’t like corporations having power over the platforms that they own and run. Most find that idea antithetical to capitalism and basic human rights to property.

                Said who? Not even the original AC said that. The original AC was complaining about corporate personhood. The closest they got to saying "corporations shouldn't have rights to their own property" was:

                Do you think that corporations do or should exist independently of The People's benefit? Or are we to loose immortal monsters on ourselves?

                If you think that you should have the right to swing your fist any/every where you please, damn anyone / anything else in the way, I would say that it's your opinion that is antithetical and against basic human rights.

                Again, you cannot limit the rights of corporations without also limiting the rights of the individuals who run them (other than things like voting in a public election or running for or holding public office).

                No, the rights of the humans running the corporation are not limited by considering corporations property instead of "people." Unless you consider forcing those humans to be legally responsible for their actions, instead of being able to shift blame and liability to some inanimate object, as a "limitation." Those humans can just as easily sign their own names on the contract they wrote as they can the name of a company. The difference between the two is who is ultimately responsible in court: The humans who designed the contract and it's terms vs. the corporate liability shield meant to execute the contract.

                At any rate, my point in this discussion was to refute your claims that corporations don’t have any constitutional rights at all (without any reason given why they shouldn’t) by pointing out that they do. You were not simply saying that corporations shouldn’t have constitutional rights; you were saying that they don’t.

                I believe you have confused me for the original AC you responded to.

                My or your opinion on the question of whether or not they should have rights does not change what the law currently is.

                Agreed.

                For the purposes of this discussion, I am not arguing about what the law should be but what the law is.

                Which I already acknowledged and said that reiterating the law as it is written, does not justify it.

                If you had said, “Corporations should not have constitutional rights,”

                Again, not the original AC. My apologies for missing that. (I thought I had put the disclaimer in....)

                then I would have been more interested in discussing whether or not I agree with what the law is,

                Then why don't you? That's what the original AC was rallying and seeking confirmation for.

                though I’d still point out that the law in this area is unlikely to change anytime soon.

                Agreed.

                But you did not. You said, “Corporations do NOT have constitutional rights.”

                The original AC opened their post with a question of opinion. Most would expect the response to be that of an opinion.

                Further, the original AC said:

                Corporations are NOT in the Constitution.

                The word "rights" does not appear in that sentence.

                That’s a very different claim altogether, one that should be supported with facts rather than personal opinions. It’s also easily refuted.

                If you go read the US Constitution, you'll find that it doesn't have the word "corporation" in it. Hell the word corporation doesn't even show up on that webpage, with a quick Ctrl+F search. (As of this posting.) As such even your amended version of the original AC's statement doesn't exist in the US Constitution. Corporate rights are mostly a construct of legal precedent and court opinion. With the occasional law passed by Congress.

                Besides, the reason Techdirt bring up the 1A in these discussions and articles regarding §230 is to show that repealing §230 won’t actually make corporations unable to lawfully moderate their platforms. It’s not an argument about what the law should be but an argument against certain (false) claims about what the law is (and what §230 actually does). A discussion on what the law should be won’t make that point invalid.

                Agreed.

                Most of the arguments about what the law should be from Techdirt have little to do with constitutional rights of corporations, anyways. For those arguments, we turn to other things like property rights, the free speech rights of users (which gets a bit complicated and has to do with how platforms would react to changes in the law), the fact that you always have other alternative platforms you can use, etc. We might also use analogies, like a privately-owned bulletin board on privately owned property viewable from a major street that the owner allows anyone to post things on. Note that that has nothing to do with corporations having or not having constitutional rights at all.

                Corporate rights are used as a common justification for the current application of the law. You yourself have done so in this thread already. In your example alone, the privately-owned bulletin board is one of the most frequent recipients of the First Amendment justification. Regardless, the courts, as of this posting, do have to consider corporate rights when applying the law, and as such they are important to the discussion.

                My main point is that your claims about what the law is are incorrect.

                Considering I agreed with your statement of it, I don't see how that is the case.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 13 Dec 2020 @ 6:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Consti

                  My apologies for mixing you up with the original AC, but you missed the first comment in this thread, which is actually amazing, since it’s the title of the thread. Here:

                  UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights

                  Yes, I did rephrase “utilities / hosts” as “corporations”, but since utilities and hosts are run by corporations, and there is no case law or words in the Constitution that make a distinction there, the disproving my rewording of the statement would also disprove the original. That is the statement I was arguing against, not the one about corporations not appearing in the Constitution, which is true but immaterial because, as far as the law is concerned, corporations are people just as much as humans are. That is also why I was not interested in answering the question posed by the OP. My only reason for joining in the discussion was to offer facts, not opinions. That would be a separate discussion.

                  Also, the original post was about statements of facts. The only opinion asked is whether I think corporations should exist outside of the People’s benefit. Considering that they are supposed to be for-profit entities, I don’t have any argument that they should not do so, within reason. One could make that argument about nonprofit NGOs, and certainly about government-run organizations, but for-profit corporations are specifically meant to not be constrained by what is “good for the public”. Combined with the fact that reasonable people can disagree about what is or isn’t good for the public, and you can see why I’m not keen on restraining any NGO or corporation to such ideals.

                  That covers a substantial amount of your response. Here’s a few more things I’ll address.

                  Corporate rights are mostly a construct of legal precedent and court opinion. With the occasional law passed by Congress.

                  Sort of. See, again, under the law, corporations are legally indistinguishable from human persons. That’s what the laws passed by Congress say. The legal precedent is based on that.

                  Corporate rights are used as a common justification for the current application of the law. You yourself have done so in this thread already. In your example alone, the privately-owned bulletin board is one of the most frequent recipients of the First Amendment justification. Regardless, the courts, as of this posting, do have to consider corporate rights when applying the law, and as such they are important to the discussion.

                  I think there’s some confusion here. Courts don’t get to decide what the law should be. That is solely up to the legislatures and, to an extent, the executive branch. Courts don’t decide what is or isn’t good policy. They can only rule based on what the law is, and corporate rights are an important consideration when deciding what the law is. In a discussion of what the law should be, however, it’s a bit more complicated. When people bring up the 1A into a §230 discussion, it’s to refute a commonly given reason to repeal §230 and point out that removing that law wouldn’t remove the right to moderate. Discussing what Constitutional rights a corporation should have doesn’t further the discussion with regards to what to do about
                  §230.
                  I agree that discussing what rights a corporation does or would have is important, but not what it should have.

                  Furthermore, the bulletin board analogy, while it works with regards to the 1A rights as well, was meant more about property rights. And since no one was disputing that corporations should have property rights, that means that corporations should have the right to moderate their property as they see fit the same way the owner of a publicly accessible bulletin board should have the right to control content on that bulletin board.

                  No, the rights of the humans running the corporation are not limited by considering corporations property instead of "people." Unless you consider forcing those humans to be legally responsible for their actions, instead of being able to shift blame and liability to some inanimate object, as a "limitation." Those humans can just as easily sign their own names on the contract they wrote as they can the name of a company. The difference between the two is who is ultimately responsible in court: The humans who designed the contract and it's terms vs. the corporate liability shield meant to execute the contract.

                  This one I’m most interested in addressing. Here’s the thing: the “protection” corporations get from §230, property rights, and the Constitution are no different than the protections a person running a publicly accessible bulletin board has with regards to their property. Also, in order to allow corporations to sue, own property, and pay people, corporations can’t just be considered property. Property can’t do those things.

                  Furthermore, consider corporations run by a board rather than a single person. The corporation speaking is then distinct from the individuals speaking.

                  Then there’s my previous analogy about the bulletin board. See, a corporation doesn’t just separate the legal liabilities of the owner(s) from the business; it also separates the funds and property. So, instead of a single person owning that bulletin board, let’s say it was the property of McDonald’s, which decides to have a specific group of employees be tasked with maintenance and moderation of the bulletin board, which still is open to content from the public posting things there. Can you see how the speech of the people who run McDonald’s are distinct from that of McDonald’s, and yet the two are inextricably linked? If we restricted the rights of McDonald’s, that would restrict the rights of the people running the board.

                  There are, of course, restrictions on commercial speech that don’t apply to noncommercial speech, but those apply to individuals and corporations equally, as they should.

                  Then there’s this:

                  Except the First Amendment directly forbids the government enforcing a particular view on a person's speech. If the law considers a corporation equal to a person, then by definition the First Amendment applies. The reason §230 is brought up is because of the legal fiction created by bureaucrats wanting to illegally silence the people, and using the potential repeal of §230 as the leverage by which to force companies into compliance. An act which should be illegal in and of itself. It's effectively saying "That's a nice business ya got there, be a shame if somethin happened to it. Hows about you silence ya people for us and we'll make sure ya business keeps runnin?" The government is attempting an illegal end run around the First Amendment using businesses as forced accomplices under penalty of death. That alone should entitle the businesses to compensation, and the potential repeal of §230 blocked by the courts. The repeal of "corporate personhood" would make that argument more difficult to make. As it would need to be shown that the rights of the people running the company were being infringed on by the government. Instead of the company itself which would lack such rights in that case. So no, our opinions on corporate rights do matter in discussions about §230. If anything, my opinion gives the bureaucrats more wiggle room, whereas yours does not.

                  Huh? I agree with the first two sentences, but the rest seems odd. I explicitly said that, by legal definition, corporations are persons. They have to be to operate as intended, which I consider a necessary evil. Additionally, we have to consider what to do about §230 in the context of what the law currently is and what it would be without §230 and no changes made outside of §230. After all, there is absolutely no way corporate personhood would be stripped at the same time §230 is repealed. In that sense, our opinions about corporate rights are immaterial to the specific discussion about what to do about corporate rights. Really, though, that last sentence makes no sense to me.

                  There are multiple stories on this very site that disprove Facebook is not using it's platform for lobbying purposes, but that is irrelevant to this conversation.

                  I agree that it’s irrelevant to this conversation, but I’m going to need examples of Facebook using its platform for lobbying purposes, because then you say this:

                  My point was that the law is ineffective. It does ban these practices, but in reality the law has so many loopholes that such bans are unenforceable. The reason why corporate voting rights are relevant to this discussion, is because you brought it up.

                  First off, I only brought up the corporate voting rights to point out that no one is saying that corporations are or should be treated as citizens. Second, I agree that lobbying restrictions are often ineffective, but a) that is not the same as voting in an election, which is what is actually restricted to being guaranteed to citizens, not anything you could remotely call “voting” in general, and b) I’m going to need evidence of Facebook lobbying using its platform. And I mean actually lobbying just using their platform. Not just controlling what info is available and to what degree to the general public that happens to include lawmakers or general advertising. Not just having an employee of Facebook lobbying outside of Facebook. I mean actually using the Facebook platform itself to lobby Congress. Because I have not seen any articles of Facebook doing that.

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                • icon
                  bhull242 (profile), 13 Dec 2020 @ 7:17pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Consti

                  Oh, and then there’s this:

                  “Your justification for changing it is just that you don’t like corporations having power over the platforms that they own and run. Most find that idea antithetical to capitalism and basic human rights to property.”

                  Said who? Not even the original AC said that. The original AC was complaining about corporate personhood. The closest they got to saying "corporations shouldn't have rights to their own property" was:

                  “Do you think that corporations do or should exist independently of The People's benefit? Or are we to loose immortal monsters on ourselves?”

                  If you think that you should have the right to swing your fist any/every where you please, damn anyone / anything else in the way, I would say that it's your opinion that is antithetical and against basic human rights.

                  Congrats. You completely misunderstood what I said. The OP has said corporations have the right to own property. I fully acknowledge that. I’m just pointing out that what the OP was asking for by saying corporations shouldn’t be able to moderate their platforms would violate those rights that we all agree corporations should have: the basic right to own property. Again, see my bulletin-board analogy, which was meant to demonstrate how property rights protect the right to moderate content on a privately owned platform.

                  Look, this same person has been saying this same thing about corporations not being persons in a number of threads on multiple articles, and the full context is that they don’t think corporations should be able to moderate their own platforms, so §230 should be repealed. That’s what I was referring to.

                  I apologize again for assuming you were them; that was me being careless. Rereading your comment again, your style is completely different, so I should have known better. However, just so you know, this person is pretty infamous on this site, so we may be referencing things said in a different thread on a different article. For example, the reason I know this person agrees that corporations should have property rights is that they brought it up to defend why they think corporations should be able to defend copyrights, which was something not previously mentioned by them in that thread.

                  So yeah, I think you’re missing a lot of context, and I’m sorry I mistook you for the OP.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 14 Dec 2020 @ 12:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Consti

                  Corporations are property.

                  Wrong they are artificial persons who can own property, otherwise there would be complications every time the board changed, or a new minister took over the running of a church. Just imagine trying to run a government, another corporation, if all government property had to be transferred every time the government changed, or getting rid of Trump if he was the owner of government property.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 15 Dec 2020 @ 6:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional

              ""The law" in your case is being used as an excuse not as a reason for why things should remain the same."

              There are a number of reasons that law exists. But it's not the one you're thinking of.
              Treating a corporation as a person is required simply because otherwise there's a monumental problem trying to get corporations to pay taxes or haul them in front of a court. It's unfortunately rare that you can single out a single legally culpable person in a corporate chain for corporate malfeasance, so if you can't consider them persons you also can't sue them.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Dec 2020 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re: UTILITIES / HOSTS do NOT have Constitutional rights at a

        "The Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that corporations have rights."

        All corporations have equal rights, some corporations are more equal than others.

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    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:53pm

    Here yet again I link to what you STATE as absolute:

    Are there ANY exceptions to your assertion, Maz? ANY wiggle room in which ordinary speech isn't subject to unaccountable control by a mere HOST corporation?

    You pretend can't understand why I repeat that, and in fact are so steeped in corporatism to exclusive of civil rights that may not! But to anyone who actually values "Free Speech", it's obvious that YOU wish for TOTAL CORPORATE CONTROL, period.

    "And, I think it's fairly important to state that these platforms have their own First Amendment rights, which allow them to deny service to anyone."

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170825/01300738081/nazis-internet-policing-content -free-speech.shtml

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      Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Here yet again I link to what you STATE as absolute:

      Note: cut the now first two paragraphs, then pasted then back in when didn't go. -- Exactly WHY does your "system", whatever it is, have RANDOM results, Maz? Don't you WANT people commenting here?

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    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:55pm

    Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

    It cheats behind the scenes. -- Won't state even one more bit about how the "filtering", works so that interested parties can comment on topic. It's exactly as though doesn't want other viewpoints here, though of course Maz is to chicken to state it.

    THIS is how "the left" works: in secret, shadowbans, other difficulties, and then alleges some unaccountable "community" does the censoring!

    Some days I glide right in without least trouble. THIS week it's been worst ever! I soldier on. You're welcome.

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    • icon
      AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:58pm

      Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

      There's no secret to Techdirt's community moderation. The community flags a post, it gets hidden. Nothing nefarious about that. So have another flag.

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        Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:02pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

        There's no secret to Techdirt's community moderation. The community flags a post, it gets hidden. Nothing nefarious about that. So have another flag.

        Oh, yes, it's "AC Unknown" who KNOWS all about how Techdirt's system works.

        You're the one with gaps in history totaling 58 months, YET you somehow now speak for the site and defend it, just like Geigner, you SOCK PUPPET.

        Going to lapse into Geigner's characteristic uniquely wacky medieval-ish technobabble again, SOCK PUPPET?

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        • icon
          AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

          Nah. I don't need to get technical since I'm nowhere near Tim Geigner's expertise. I'm just a guy who's lurked here for a while and who chooses to post comments when I choose to do so. So you can drop the "I'm superior to you, sockpuppet" attitude.

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            Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

            Nah. I don't need to get technical since I'm nowhere near Tim Geigner's expertise. I'm just a guy who's lurked here for a while and who chooses to post comments when I choose to do so. So you can drop the "I'm superior to you, sockpuppet" attitude.

            AH. How do you Geigner's level of expertise? HMM? Personally acquainted? Or just believe his puffery 'cause you want to?

            Besides, since state you're low level, why should I believe your evaluation?

            You SLIPPED again by asserting know Geigner. ANY answer you give provides evidence, and you just confirmed that YOU ARE A SOCK PUPPET.

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            • icon
              AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S

              Once again, you have no proof that I'm a sockpuppet. So back the fuck off that conspiratorial bullshit.

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                Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:18pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to chang

                Once again, you have no proof that I'm a sockpuppet. So back the fuck off that conspiratorial bullshit.

                I've given the evidence right above. MANY similarities, not least that you ardently defend Techdirt.

                And I'm not going to "back off". YOU ARE A SOCK PUPPET OF TIMOTHY GEIGNER from the visible evidence.

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            Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

            And of course your ardent defense of Techdirt also indicates more than "lurker", silly. You didn't comment for 58 months (in two long periods) and NOW you're ardent defender, just like the prior "Gary".

            Besides that, "Dark Helmet" rarely shows these days, and yet he's such a fountain of verbage that would have to comment at me, or burst! So his very absence points to sock puppets.

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            • icon
              AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S

              How about I call bullshit on that conspiracy once more?
              My absence for 58 months is quite simply explained by I just didn't feel the need to post anything. It's that fucking simple.

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                Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:28pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to chang

                How about I call bullshit on that conspiracy once more? My absence for 58 months is quite simply explained by I just didn't feel the need to post anything. It's that fucking simple.

                And yet you avoid saying why you're so ardent now, let alone all the details that I asked you for about the "community" and the "flag" system.

                You can't be specific or it's more evidence for me.

                So you're down to just dodging. Exactly as Geigner would with a sock puppet, when thought I wouldn't dig in and respond, rarely do.

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                • icon
                  AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:31pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to c

                  It's been explained to you a great many times how this whole community moderation system works. Yet it doesn't seem to get through your skull so you constantly cry "Admin censorship". It's the community, aka the users here, who are telling you to get lost.

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                    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:44pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY

                    It's been explained to you a great many times how this whole community moderation system works. Yet it doesn't seem to get through your skull so you constantly cry "Admin censorship". It's the community, aka the users here, who are telling you to get lost.

                    As I state below, "this whole community" doesn't catch on to the fact that I'm STILL HERE after ten years! It's a HOOT, part why I stay!

                    You'll have to lay out for me just exactly how "this whole community moderation system works". I've never seen it. I've asked you a few key questions here that you refuse to answer. Why don't you answer those, instead of alleging that it's ALL been explained before. Link me to a WHOLE explanation, not just assertions that I've seen it. That'd be handy for newbies too, ya know? So, DISH.

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        Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:06pm

        Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

        There's no secret to Techdirt's community moderation. The community flags a post, it gets hidden. Nothing nefarious about that. So have another flag.

        "no secret", eh?

        Okay, how many flags out of how many readers?

        How many are in this alleged "community"?

        Where are its standards written so that I can avoid offending? -- Cause right now, looks like VIEWPOINT DISCRIMINATION.

        How does the system work? Is there a human / Administrator, or is all automatic?

        And key point: Where did YOU find this out for certain, when I've been asking for years? What "inside" information do you have "AC Unknown", who asserts confidently that it's "no secret"?

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        • icon
          AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

          Inside information? How about having observed it in action? I've lurked here for quite some time, so I'm quite familiar with the process from having watched things happen.

          Also, there's no such thing as "viewpoint discrimination".

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            Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

            I'm quite familiar with the process from having watched things happen.

            Then answer the other detailed questions.

            Also, there's no such thing as "viewpoint discrimination".

            Umm, right. Just from Supreme Court.

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            • icon
              AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:19pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S

              Once again, the moderation is community-based, meaning it's the community of this website who are moderating you.

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                Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to chang

                Once again, the moderation is community-based, meaning it's the community of this website who are moderating you.

                Once again, PROVE WHAT YOU SAY by link to anything but your own assertions.

                Also show WHY I should be "moderated". I'm always on-topic and civil. WHY are my comments "hidden" as Techdirt euphemizes censoring, when I'm already moderate?

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                Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:24pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to chang

                And I forgot: ONCE AGAIN YOU DODGE AWAY FROM MY QUESTIONS. That too is evidence that anyone can see, and it's consistent with the SOCK PUPPET conclusion.

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                • icon
                  AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to c

                  Once again, the community here is telling you to get lost when your posts get hidden, so get lost.

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                    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:38pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY

                    Once again, the community here is telling you to get lost when your posts get hidden, so get lost.

                    What a slam on "the community"! I've been NOT obeying more than ten years and still hasn't caught on!

                    NOW, show where YOU are the "VOICE Of The Community" and appointed to speak for it / them.

                    That's exactly the arrogant attitude that Geigner shows, speaking FOR the site.

                    And any normal people: WHY doesn't Techdirt speak for itself? -- In large part, because Maz is CHICKEN. He wants to discriminate against viewpoints without being seen responsible for it. SO, not coincidentally, several of the "accounts" here SPEAK FOR THE SITE AND ARE NEVER CONTRADICTED BY MAZ or other.

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                    • icon
                      AC Unknown (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:44pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides

                      Or maybe its because Mike has other things to do than to debate a troll? Have you ever thought about that? Or does that contradict every conspiracy theory that floats through the void that is your head?

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                        Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:59pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provi

                        Or maybe its because Mike has other things to do than to debate a troll? Have you ever thought about that? Or does that contradict every conspiracy theory that floats through the void that is your head?

                        He's had 20 years to write up clear commenting guidelines! Every other site has those. But do not exist here! Nor does Maz anywhere actually state that he's handed control over to the "the community".

                        Sum is that YOU are simply asserting what the site / Maz do not state. WHY should I believe you? You're just a screen name, with suspicious aspects to your account.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:51pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day p

                          You don't have to believe anything. The empirical evidence over all this bloody time shows it, but you are in the extreme minority of commenters who refuse to ibserve any evidence from reality, or at least have a vested interest in ignoring it.

                          Don't believe anything, use your fucking brain for once in your life.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Techdirt every day provides WHY to change S 230!

          “Viewpoint discrimination”

          I call it “quality standards” lol

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    Ray Zaldese Points, 10 Dec 2020 @ 2:59pm

    Oh, and of course it's removing IMMUNITY that worries Maz.

    That immunity is SOLELY for corporations. It does NOT benefit The Public, only allows unaccountable weenies in cubicles to censor us.

    WHY would we allow that, Maz? STATE THREE WAYS in which teh internets WITHOUT corporate immunity BUT WITH corporate control is better than just the latter. YOU CAN'T.

    You advocate S230 as an enabling POWER for corporations, NOT for The Public, period.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:14pm

      Re: Oh, and of course it's removing IMMUNITY that worries Maz.

      Remove all the the immunity you want.

      You will still lose weather court or otherswise lol

      If there is one thing you are used to it’s that lol

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 5:43pm

      Re: Oh, and of course it's removing IMMUNITY that worries Maz.

      They have explained many times about how §230 benefits the public. But I’m going to set that aside and point out that §230 also protects users from things other users post.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 3:24pm

    Wrong from top to bottom

    Selling and displaying personalized as well as contextual advertising without user’s consent

    I guess neither of them is familiar with those little things called 'Terms and Conditions?' Because assuming a site didn't already have a clause related to that it would be trivial to add one in.

    Collecting data for commercial purposes other than the direct sale of the interactive computer service, i.e. turning the user into a commodity or otherwise monetizing the transmission of content

    That reminds me, I need to check to see if my customer rewards card for the grocery store is up to date, and I really wish the ISP would stop trying to charge me for my privacy...

    Acting as a marketplace in the digital space by facilitating the placement of items into the stream of commerce

    Platforms that allow you to buy and sell stuff online are essentially illegal, well I can't see how that might ding the economy at all, not like those are at all popular especially during a global pandemic...

    Employing digital products and designs intended to engage and addict users to the service

    Hard to object to this one, I mean how dare online platforms try to entice users to use their platform/product more, everyone knows you just sit back and hope that users/customers like what you're offering!

    Acting as a publisher by using algorithms to moderate or censor content without opt-in from users

    Ignoring for a moment that moderation does not make one a publisher, as to claim otherwise would mean that someone email is a publisher of what makes it past the spam filter see point #1, if you're posting on a site you're already opted in.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 10 Dec 2020 @ 4:12pm

    GO AHEAD.

    "act as publishers by moderating and censoring content"

    remove moderating and censor. PLEASE.
    THEN since the law is installed, YT dont have to remove anything, including all those Disney movies they keep removing. YEA.
    Then if an ANON publishes Bad things about YOU, then they dont have to do ANYTHING.

    Get off it, Think about what you are saying.
    Have any of these people EVER used the internet Forums/Chat rooms/Game chats?
    Did these folks talk to anyone, besides the voice in their heads, from the other side to figure out the Problem with any of this?

    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, 11 Dec 2020 @ 1:34pm

    How deep does stupid goes to cover crime?

    I wouldn't so be so smug when now i now your own name and how it rings through the privacy of my castle and my devices i screen shoot the ones that can talk the loudest are always connected to the road they defending instead of the constitution 1st 2nd 4th or 5 th and humanity instead of big corporation the plots sure thicken stupidly in ones favor of his reasoning and my down fall big ups to you and my keeping eyes many names never use the law suit word stupid when even you know the crimes was committed so if it occurred how can they be dropped weak or strong it was done for two years strong hold that is unconstitutional to denial anyone communication or anything to the own security service their paying for with your company or other contract or oath as they claim of their services they will provide if you need more insight please address me personal in which you assume you know as well that is the stupid manner for you say it of my life affliction thought which you carry in your way of thinking. That is your opinion alone and entitled to it but know your facts first before planning your next attack.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Doesn’t matter, 12 Dec 2020 @ 1:26am

    Screw your censorship

    It’s simple... big tech should only be allowed to delete content that is illegal. This prevents mass censorship from blatantly biased social media companies, and it eliminates their responsibility of trying to play referee. Something must be done. Anyone who doesn’t see the double standard in which conservatives are censored and leftists are allowed to spew lies, is not paying attention. There’s a reason surveys on election night showed that early half of Biden voters were complaining unaware of the Biden laptop corruption scandal. This combined with the media coverups of anything anti Biden yet airing every baseless conspiracy theory about Trump was enough to sway the election. Add in a bunch of fraud and you have the least popular candidate in our lifetime win more votes than anyone in history (after he was being crushed on election night). My god people are mindless sheep falling in line with these big tech overlords because their tyranny suits you currently. Give it time.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 12 Dec 2020 @ 8:57am

      Re: Screw your censorship

      [Projects facts not in evidence]

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 12 Dec 2020 @ 9:39am

      Your open support for bigotry, plague denialism, lies and the biggest assholes on the planet is noted, as is your contempt for property rights and the first amendment.

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

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 12 Dec 2020 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Screw your censorship

      What the hell are you even talking about? The Biden laptop thing was complete crap, and there is no convincing evidence that Twitter or Facebook moderate conservatives more than liberals for the same things (you don’t even give examples of liberals getting away with lies), but even granting you those, you can always just go to another platform like Parler, so there is no need for anything to be done to Twitter or Facebook. Furthermore, Big Tech companies can do whatever they want with their platforms as long as it isn’t illegal or anti-competitive (which they haven’t yet) thanks to basic property rights, and moderation can’t be made illegal thanks to the 1A.

      And for the record, I’d feel the same about their rights if the situation was reversed from what you think it is and I thought that liberals were being treated worse than conservatives for the same behavior… and I know that because that’s technically what’s actually happening! It has been confirmed that conservatives who break the ToS tend to be less likely to be banned than liberals who break the ToS. I’m not happy about that, but I respect Twitter and Facebook’s rights to do so.

      Also, I find it extremely hard to believe that there were any voters undecided and gullible enough to actually take the laptop story seriously and change their vote because of it that weren’t already aware of the story. It wasn’t exactly hard to find even if you weren’t looking. But, again, that story was highly suspect from the start, so I doubt anyone’s minds were changed after learning about it.

      Plus, in case you hadn’t noticed, Trump was the least popular candidate. His approval rating has been consistently lower than any previous president, and a lot of people voted for Biden just because they hated Trump. And of course Trump got more votes on Election Night; most people who voted for Biden voted by mail-in ballots because of the pandemic.

      Also, the plaintiff gave no evidence of fraud, so their allegations of fraud must be dismissed.

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

  • icon
    McKay (profile), 12 Dec 2020 @ 9:39am

    This has more than just 1st amendment problems

    Sure. It's got first amendment problems. But I think this I'll has 8th amendment problems.

    Hey, you've decided to track your users? okay now you're liable for copyright infringement (and death threats, libel, and ...) of your users!

    That seems like a cruel and unusual punishment to me.

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

  • icon
    Md Neyaz Mahmud (profile), 15 Dec 2020 @ 7:23am

    Ridiculous video

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


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