What I Hope Tech CEOs Will Tell Congress: 'We're Not Neutral'

from the just-lay-out-the-truth dept

The CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter will once again testify before Congress this Thursday, this time on disinformation. Here’s what I hope they will say:

Thank you Mister Chairman and Madam Ranking Member.

While no honest CEO would ever say that he or she enjoys testifying before Congress, I recognize that hearings like this play an important role -- in holding us accountable, illuminating our blind spots, and increasing public understanding of our work.

Some policymakers accuse us of asserting too much editorial control and removing too much content. Others say that we don’t remove enough incendiary content. Our platforms see millions of user-generated posts every day -- on a global scale -- but questions at these hearings often focus on how one of our thousands of employees handled a single individual post.

As a company we could surely do a better job of explaining -- privately and publicly -- our calls in controversial cases. Because it’s sometimes difficult to explain in time-limited hearing answers the reasons behind individual content decisions, we will soon launch a new public website that will explain in detail our decisions on cases in which there is considerable public interest. Today, I’ll focus my remarks on how we view content moderation generally.

Not “neutral”

In past hearings, I and my CEO counterparts have adopted an approach of highlighting our companies’ economic and social impact, answering questions deferentially, and promising to answer detailed follow up questions in writing. While this approach maximizes comity, I’ve come to believe that it can sometimes leave a false impression of how we operate.

So today I’d like to take a new approach: leveling with you.

In particular, in the past I have told you that our service is “neutral.” My intent was to convey that we don’t pick political sides, or allow commercial influence over our editorial content.

But I’ve come to believe that characterizing our service as “neutral” was a mistake. We are not a purely neutral speech platform, and virtually no user-generated-content service is.

Our philosophy

In general, we start with a Western, small-d democratic approach of allowing a broad range of human expression and views. From there, our products reflect our subjective -- but scientifically informed -- judgments about what information and speech our users will find most relevant, most delightful, most topical, or of the highest quality.

We aspire for our services to be utilized by billions of people around the globe, and we don’t ever relish limiting anyone’s speech. And while we generally reflect an American free speech norm, we recognize that norm is not shared by much of the world -- so we must abide by more restrictive speech laws in many countries where we operate.

Even within the United States, however, we choose to forbid certain types of speech which are legal, but which we have chosen to keep off our service: incitements to violence, hate speech, Holocaust denial, and adult pornography, just to name a few.

We make these decisions based not on the law, but on what kind of service we want to be for our users.

While some people claim to want “neutral” online speech platforms, we have seen that services with little or no content moderation whatsoever -- such as Gab and Parler -- become dominated by trolling, obscenities, and conspiracy theories. Most consumers reject this chaotic, noisy mess.

In contrast, we believe that millions of people use our service because they value our approach of airing a variety of views, but avoiding an “anything goes'' cesspool.

We realize that some people won’t like our rules, and go elsewhere. I’m glad that consumers have choices like Gab and Parler, and that the open Internet makes them possible. But we want our service to be something different: a pleasant experience for the widest possible audience.

Complicated info landscape means tough calls

When we first started our service decades ago, content moderation was a much less fractious topic. Today, we face a more complicated speech and information landscape including foreign propaganda, bots, disinformation, misinformation, conspiracy theories, deepfakes, distrust of institutions, and a fractured media landscape. It challenges all of us who are in the information business.

All user-generated content services are grappling with new challenges to our default of allowing most speech. For example, we have recently chosen to take a more aggressive posture toward election- and vaccine-related disinformation because those of us who run our company ultimately don’t feel comfortable with our platform being an instrument to undermine democracy or public health.

As much as we aim to create consistent rules and policies, many of the most difficult content questions we face are ones we’ve never seen before, or involve elected officials -- so the questions often end up on my desk as CEO.

Despite the popularity of our services, I recognize that I’m not a democratically elected policymaker. I’m a leader of a private enterprise. None of us company leaders takes pleasure in making speech decisions that inevitably upset some portion of our user base - or world leaders. We may make the wrong call.

But our desire to make our platform a positive experience for millions of people sometimes demands that we make difficult decisions to limit or block certain types of controversial (but legal) content. The First Amendment prevents the government from making those extra-legal speech decisions for us. So it’s appropriate that I make these tough calls, because each decision reflects and shapes what kind of service we want to be for our users.

Long-term experience over short-term traffic

Some of our critics assert that we are driven solely by “engagement metrics” or “monetizing outrage” like heated political speech.

While we use our editorial judgment to deliver what we hope are joyful experiences to our users, it would be foolish for us to be ruled by weekly engagement metrics. If platforms like ours prioritized quick-hit, sugar-high content that polarizes our users, it might drive short term usage but it would destroy people’s long-term trust and desire to return to our service. People would give up on our service if it’s not making them happy.

We believe that most consumers want user-generated-content services like ours to maintain some degree of editorial control. But we also believe that as you move further down the Internet “stack” -- from applications towards ours toward app stores, then cloud hosting, then DNS providers, and finally ISPs -- most people support a norm of progressively less content moderation at each layer.

In other words, our users may not want to see controversial speech on our service -- but they don’t necessarily support disappearing it from the Internet altogether.

I fully understand that not everyone will agree with our content policies, and that some people feel disrespected by our decisions. I empathize with those that feel overlooked or discriminated against, and I am glad that the open Internet allows people to seek out alternatives to our service. But that doesn’t mean that the US government can or should deny our company’s freedom to moderate our own services.

First Amendment and CDA 230

Some have suggested that social media sites are the “new public square” and that services should be forbidden by the government to block anyone’s speech. But such a rule would violate our company’s own First Amendment rights of editorial judgment within our services. Our legal freedom to prioritize certain content is no different than that of the New York Times or Breitbart.

Some critics attack Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as a “giveaway” to tech companies, but their real beef is with the First Amendment.

Others allege that Section 230’s liability protections are conditioned on our service following a false standard of political “neutrality.” But Section 230 doesn’t require this, and in fact it incentivizes platforms like ours to moderate inappropriate content.

Section 230 is primarily a legal routing mechanism for defamation claims -- making the speaker responsible, not the platform. Holding speakers directly accountable for their own defamatory speech ultimately helps encourage their own personal responsibility for a healthier Internet.

For example, if car rental companies always paid for their renters’ red light tickets instead of making the renter pay, all renters would keep running red lights. Direct consequences improve behavior.

If Section 230 were revoked, our defamation liability exposure would likely require us to be much more conservative about who and what types of content we allowed to post on our services. This would likely inhibit a much broader range of potentially “controversial” speech, but more importantly would impose disproportionate legal and compliance burdens on much smaller platforms.

Operating responsibly -- and humbly

We’re aware of the privileged position our service occupies. We aim to use our influence for good, and to act responsibly in the best interests of society and our users. But we screw up sometimes, we have blind spots, and our services, like all tools, get misused by a very small slice of our users. Our service is run by human beings, and we ask for grace as we remedy our mistakes.

We value the public’s feedback on our content policies, especially from those whose life experiences differ from those of our employees. We listen. Some people call this “working the refs,” but if done respectfully I think it can be healthy, constructive, and enlightening.

By the same token, we have a responsibility to our millions of users to make our service the kind of positive experience they want to return to again and again. That means utilizing our own constitutional freedom to make editorial judgments. I respect that some will disagree with our judgments, just as I hope you will respect our goal of creating a service that millions of people enjoy.

Thank you for the opportunity to appear here today.

Adam Kovacevich is a former public policy executive for Google and Lime, former Democratic congressional and campaign aide, and a longtime tech policy strategist based in Washington, DC.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, bias, big tech, congressional hearings, content moderation, disinformation, jack dorsey, mark zuckerberg, neutral, section 230, sundar pichai
Companies: facebook, google, twitter


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Al Bedo, author "Reflections On Planets", 23 Mar 2021 @ 9:59am

    Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

    So today I’d like to take a new approach: leveling with you.

    In particular, in the past I have told you that our service is “neutral.” My intent was to convey that we don’t pick political sides, or allow commercial influence over our editorial content.

    And NOW you flaunt your power and tell us you're going to use it more.

    So, I TOO wish for more such.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Al Bedo, author "Reflections On Planets", 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:05am

      Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

      AND having at last stated your actual position, you back into a corner not just conservatives, but everyone not in the corporatist cabal. Smart move, born of hubris. "The peasants have no place on the big platforms? Well, let them start their own."

      You just made the case for removing the grant by statute of immunity. It's clearly Un-Constitutional, UN-American, fascistic, and the intent is now clearly seen as for corporations to become Censors, instead of The Public to easily Publish.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

        We get it that you wish to exercise the hecklers veto on every platform on the planet.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Al Bedo, author "Reflections On Planets", 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

          We get it that you wish to exercise the hecklers veto on every platform on the planet.

          Is THAT directed at "Al Bedo"? While Techdirt has code implementing such veto, and DOES exercise it against all substantive dissent? Sheesh. Again, the projection and UN-self-awareness here is astounding.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Koby (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:31am

      Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

      So today I’d like to take a new approach: leveling with you.

      Don't tell it to the politicians. Tell it to THE USERS. Tell the users that you are editorializing. Tell the users that you are picking winners and losers. Be honest that you are actively hiding opinions with which you disagree. Inform everyone that your algorithm is biased, not to display relevant results, but to push an agenda. Just be straightforward and honest with your own customers, not with a bunch of useless politicians.

      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, 23 Mar 2021 @ 3:38pm

        Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

        Interesting that this comment from Koby was hidden.

        Noting the 'flag' button, there are three options for why a comment should be flagged: 'abused', 'trolling', or 'spam'. I couldn't detect any of those three in his comment, by anyone's definition.

        Can any of you Techdirters please explain why Koby's comment was flagged? Or should we all just assume you're typical censorious Big Tech-worshiping Thought Police?

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:34pm

          Klatu

          Can any of you Techdirters please explain why Koby's comment was flagged?

          I guess some people think he's trolling or are just plain tired of his bullshit because he assign specific reasons for alleged actions and he has so far never been able to present one shred of evidence for what he allege is based on fact.

          I seldom flag Koby since he say things that makes sense unless it's related to Section 230 where he have on several occasions indicated that it's okay to force speech on a third party.

          Or should we all just assume you're typical censorious Big Tech-worshiping Thought Police?

          Shall we all assume you have an axe to grind? Or did someone take umbrage for something you wrote on social media? Or perhaps you formed your opinion from hearsay?

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:52pm

            I seldom flag Koby since he say things that makes sense unless it's related to Section 230 where he have on several occasions indicated that it's okay to force speech on a third party.

            On non-social media topics he can leave good comments but on anything social media related he's long since entered auto-flag territory for me for constantly showing that he's not interested in an honest discussion via refusing to answer Stephen's simple question(which ironically is an answer itself) to repeatedly making the same claims and arguments no matter how many times people have debunked them.

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

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              icon
              Koby (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 3:31pm

              Re:

              he's long since entered auto-flag territory for me for constantly showing that he's not interested in an honest discussion via refusing to answer Stephen's simple question

              Hah! Talk about "forced speech"!

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

              • icon
                nasch (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 4:07pm

                Re: Re:

                Talk about "forced speech"!

                Actually he wasn't. But then, you knew that, right?

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

              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 9:31pm

                Re: Re:

                If that's how you want to define 'consequences for words and actions' then yes, I am absolutely applying 'forced speech' on you by flagging your comments, but by any sane and/or honest definition of the term then no, my flagging a known dishonest person has nothing to do with forced speech and your attempt to conflate the two isn't exactly doing your reputation any favors.

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 25 Mar 2021 @ 12:06am

                Re: Re:

                Strange - your typical m.o. is to threadshit and then leave, never returning to address every debunking of your claims no matter how many people do it. But, you returned to retort against someone correctly describing your behaviour and their honest reaction to it.

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

                • icon
                  Mike Masnick (profile), 25 Mar 2021 @ 12:26am

                  Re: Re: Re:

                  But, of course, Koby refused to address his actual (and repeated) dishonesty.

                  And that, of course, is why people treat him like a troll. Because he acts like one.

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

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 26 Mar 2021 @ 4:42am

                Re: Re:

                "Hah! Talk about "forced speech"!"

                What, the fact that after you've been hollering "LOOK AT THE WOLF!" on showing us a dead pigeon a few dozen times, we now demand you validate your claims?

                This you consider "forced"?

                Wow, Koby, I somehow believed you were a little above and beyond the fragile snowflakery false martyrdom so common in the alt-right crowd you keep carrying water for. I guess who you associate with does eventually rub off on you.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 4:15am

            Re: Klatu

            Koby can make good sense on some topics, but the reason he gets flagged a lot is because he's primarily out to ensure the owners of online platforms shouldn't be allowed to dictate the rules on who they allow to speak. Bluntly put, he wants the bar owner to stop tossing his nazi friends out for screaming ethnic slurs and disturbing the other patrons.

            He's been outed on this a long time ago, so every time he starts talking about moderation we know he isn't debating in good faith. As we can clearly see by clicking that "hidden" post of his and perusing it.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

          Some commenters here have a reputation for being dishonest liars. Koby is one. He's killed any trust he had by continually misrepresenting things despite people correcting him repeatedly, so people consider him (quite reasonably) an intellectually dishonest troll.

          Destroy your reputation... deal with the consequences. You know, personal responsibility.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 5:51pm

            Remember: It’s only cancel culture if it comes from the Cancelle region of France. Otherwise, it’s the sparkling consequences of your own fucking actions. 😁

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 9:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POW

            "Some commenters here have a reputation for being dishonest liars."

            And there are so few of them we can even name them; Koby, Shel10, Restless94110, Cynoclast, tp and of course, Baghdad Bob.

            If the first four pitch in on anything "Die Fahne Hoch" will be sounding in the background, albeit in Koby's case with the volume dialed way down.

            tp is a copyright maximalist but appears to be mainly in it in order to troll the thread to pieces by spamming the iterations until it's no longer readable.

            Baghdad Bob is just...uh...in dire need of serious help, as far as we can tell.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 12:02am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

          I couldn't detect any of those three in his comment, by anyone's definition.

          Then either you're blind, or a liar.

          Because Koby's comment is obvious trolling, filled as it is with those blatant deliberate lies.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 12:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

          "Can any of you Techdirters please explain why Koby's comment was flagged?"

          He's a known liar and constantly repeats the same false assertions on threads on this topic.

          In this case, he's whining about bias he has been asked repeatedly to provide evidence for, and always refuses to provide such evidence. Regulars get tired of dealing with the same disingenuous false arguments from the same people over and over, so they just flag him as the troll he is.

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

        • icon
          cattress (profile), 25 Mar 2021 @ 4:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Yes, WE KNOW, CORPORATISTS LIED UNTIL GAINED POWER.

          Ooh! Ooh! I know, pick me!
          In the form of a question: What is a tired and thoroughly debunked claim of conservative viewpoint censorship that no one wants to argue with Koby about again?
          Don't pretend that you don't know full well it's not conservative views being censored. It's hateful views that dehumanize others, spreading of dangerous lies about vaccines, masks, and the pandemic, and spreading dangerous lies that have resulted in violence regarding the 2020 election that just so happen to come almost entirely from "conservative" people that are getting shut down. The misinformation, lies and propaganda were allowed to spread until well after there were real word harms.

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

  • identicon
    Gary Mence, 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:01am

    Internet Blackout 2021

    That is all that will stop Congress from destroying section 230. Another internet blackout. We need to be able to communicate. Stop bad changes to section 230. #internetblackout2021 with petition to congress

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Al Bedo, author "Reflections On Planets", 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:08am

      Re: Internet Blackout 2021

      We need to be able to communicate.

      Who is this "we" that by the above doesn't include at least half the populace? -- Actually, YOU TOO are a peasant in the new corporate state, fool.

      Better wake up. It's never too late because Rulers are always few.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:11am

        Yes or no, Brainy: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 11:03am

      Re: Internet Blackout 2021

      I thought the opposite cynically yesterday "Who knew that all you had to do to get SOPA/PIPA supported by the public was just chant "Big Tech", "Monopoly","misinformation", and "selling your data" ad nauseam to get the fucking morons to clamor for it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:40pm

      Re: Internet Blackout 2021

      Well right now its still going to be hard to pass any law destroying section 230.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:05am

    Its ironic that the least neutral people on the planet, politicians, wish to use neutrality as a way of forcing other to promote their viewpoint.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:37am

      Re:

      'You need to be neutral and treat all speech as precious and deserving of protection no matter how toxic you or your users may find it, now excuse me while I go talk about how my political opponents are idiots and their ideas and even existences should be treated with nothing but contempt and mockery.'

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

  • icon
    crade (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:21am

    "We listen."

    How do you avoid squeaky wheel syndrome, so the most obnoxious don't end up the best served?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:29am

    'No, we're not, and you don't want us to be either.'

    No one actually wants neutrality of the sort that those attacking 230 are putting forth, where (almost) all content is allowed and it's entirely on the users to deal with anything they come across, because as even that side showed with Parler there are people and content you'd rather not deal with and 'just ignore it if you don't like it' doesn't cut it when there are dishonest people who's entire goal is to make your experience worse.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:43am

      Re: 'No, we're not, and you don't want us to be either.'

      Which isn't neutrality at all, it's laissez-fair or shirking, but that choice is already available in several different places. Not many people don't pick those choices because not many people want that.

      The thing is no politician is honestly pushing for that either, they are just throwing a fit with no real plan. Some are pushing for a neutral ref as in the sort that will try to rig the game to be tied, some are pushing for less freedom, more control for control's sake, but no one seems to have any vision of what their proposed changes are going actually to accomplish

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:44am

    good metaphore

    "For example, if car rental companies always paid for their renters’ red light tickets instead of making the renter pay, all renters would keep running red lights. Direct consequences improve behavior. "

    This x1000

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 10:59am

    It would be foolish indeed to support a proposal simply because of an obsession with hating and hurting one entity. All sane humans look for other people who share their interests--religious, economic, aesthetic, technical, scientific, experiential. But, unfortunately, for every interest there is usually a dung-bearing Koby flinging for attention.

    Hence the need for someone to stand at the meeting door and keep out anyone who is trying (by malicious dung-flinging) to deprive the group of their own human rights to peaceably assemble and speak to each other. Churches anathematize; corporations fire; guilds expel; and so on. All these entities deserve legal protection, and only a wannabe-totalitarian-dictator would try to take that protection away.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 11:02am

    "driven solely by “engagement metrics” or “monetizing outrage”"

    Like these hearings.
    Sitting members of Congress can & do outright lie about the law & facts to score "points". One would guess that perhaps even having sworn an oath to uphold it several are you are unfamiliar with the Constitution with the number of officials who claim the our decisions about content harmed someones 1st Amendment rights.

    500,000+ people are dead, and we're having yet another hearing attempting to blame all of the ills of the world on tech.

    Florida is currently a free for all super spreader event, but because someone thinks they were silenced we're in this hearing instead of sending in help to control the out of control crowds try to stem what will be another huge outbreak & possibly new strains across the country.

    If Congressman Whiny Pants is so silenced, why is it I kept hearing him on so many platforms whining about how silenced he was?
    Because it scores points & makes people mad at tech & serves as a distraction that y'all helped kill 500,000+ people.

    People are going to be homeless, children are going to bed hungry, & you had the nerve to suggest that maybe people who were undeserving shouldn't get anything so we should delay it for everyone.
    Would you have accepted the capitol police debating which of you should have been escorted out first on the 6th?
    Would you accept a firefighter debating if he should fight the fire without making sure the owner was deserving of it?

    You are all so detached from reality, its actually terrifying.
    You believe the impossible is possible because you said so.
    You believe in spending billions on gear our military can't actually use, because you're keeping corporate donors afloat but citizens in your state aren't worth a couple hundred extra dollars to try and keep going in a pandemic you all made worse.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 11:42am

    from applications towards ours toward app stores

    This bit lost me a bit. Was that supposed to be "from applications outwards toward..."?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 5:06pm

    Sadly I doubt they'll say this.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 6:46pm

      Re:

      The large companies like Facebook and Google stand to benefit greatly by a gutted 230, and pointing out the stupidity of politicians sounds like a great way to get some revenge 'regulations' suggested for passage, so no, not likely.

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

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 9:22pm

    Conservative

    If Section 230 were revoked, our defamation liability exposure would likely require us to be much more conservative about who and what types of content we allowed to post on our services.

    I would phrase that a little differently, because as it is idiots will say "Yes! We want you to be more conservative!"

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Mar 2021 @ 12:17am

      'Wait, not against us, not against us I said!'

      Petty, spiteful and grossly hypocritical? Not sure why they'd be cheering that on for a platform they don't run...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2021 @ 8:28am

    Although I believe social media to be badly overmoderated, I can't imagine government sticking it's nose into the subject improving anything for anyone.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 25 Mar 2021 @ 1:02pm

      Re:

      Indeed. Whether you think platforms are taking too much down or not enough both sides should agree that having the government making those decisions is a Bad Idea, because even if you agree with the ones making those decisions now it's a matter of 'when', not 'if', people you don't agree with are in office and will get to make use of that power.

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

  • icon
    fairuse (profile), 29 Mar 2021 @ 3:31pm

    The CEOs got nothing but BS

    I didn't listen to hearing 'cause reasons. I did read a headline that said the children on Facebook got big outrage, committee member implied FB knows under 13yo are using FB and that is illegal. Of course it is a trap so committee can say "the law was broken" (all caps). I just stopped reading because the disingenuousness was too much for me.

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


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