Thanks To Section 230, I Can Correct Wired's Portrayal Of My Section 230 Advocacy

from the speaking-about-speaking-about-speech dept

I always thought it would be a great honor to be referenced in the hallowed pages of WIRED magazine. Like Mike, I've been reading it since its beginning, as a then student studying information technology and watching the Internet take hold in the world.

This week it finally happened, and ugh... My work was referenced in support of a terrible take on Section 230, which not only argued that Section 230 should be repealed (something that I spend a great deal of personal and professional energy trying to push back against) but masqueraded as a factual explanation of how there was no possible reasonable defense of the law and that therefore all its defenders (including me) are, essentially, pulling a fast one on the public by insisting it is important to hold onto. After all, as the title says, "Everything you've heard about Section 230 is wrong," including, it would seem, everything we've been saying about it all along.

Such an assertion is, of course, ridiculous. But this isn't the first bad Section 230 take and unfortunately is unlikely to be the last, so if that were all it was it might be much easier to simply let it fade into history. But that wasn't all it was, because the piece didn't just make that general statement; it used my own work to do it, and in the most disingenuous way.

Ordinarily, of course, my work can speak for itself. The problem was, the author of this piece didn't let it speak for itself. Instead he stripped it of its context, plucking out only bits of the overall argument, citing ideas so incompletely, so orphaned from the overall message in which they were delivered, as to effectively mischaracterize my position. And then he used that mischaracterization of what I had argued as ammunition to underpin his anti-230 argument.

Nor did the author let me speak for my work either, which could have corrected his apparent misapprehensions, if not about Section 230's merit at large, then at least the bigger picture I was getting at in the particular brief he had honed in on. But despite speaking with several of the law's detractors, he spoke to only one of its defenders, even though he obviously considered several of us expert enough to misleadingly reference our work in support of his dubious argument.

It reads as a hit piece, not just against the law itself but its supporters, and one that he was apparently so determined to make that speaking with us, and affording us the chance to explain our views and what informs them, was not something he could chance. After all, we might have convinced him of the statute's merit, or at least given him some actual factual fodder to include in his supposedly factual accounting of the law, and that was obviously not the piece he wanted to write.

And so it turns out that my first mention in WIRED is a misrepresentation of my advocacy. Which is rather depressing, personally, but it raises another issue, and one that ties back into the advocacy I do defending the statute and why I do it so fervently.

It's because the only way to make sure that my actual views can get widely expressed is to express them directly myself, and for that I need to use outlets that are protected by Section 230, like Twitter. Or maybe sometimes Facebook. Or even (as we always point out in our briefs) a site like Techdirt. If I have things to say, I obviously cannot depend on traditional media gatekeepers like Conde Nast magazines to help me say them. And while I am obviously eager to set the record straight on my free speech advocacy, I don't just speak for myself in expressing this concern. Without this law, we would all be without these outlets and without these opportunities to express ourselves publicly, even when we need to. Which would ultimately foreclose a lot of expression, including plenty of even more necessary expression.

This stark calculus is also why it is so odd to see some of the law's opponents (including those who were actually quoted in the article) praise the article for having included lots of voices in it. Sure, it shared some voices. But only some. And the absence of other voices shows why Section 230 is so needed: because often Section 230-enabled outlets are the only way many voices – including the most marginalized and vulnerable many of these advocates profess to be championing – can be heard.

Of course, to this point the anti-230 people unhappy about being de-platformed may say, "See? We told you it's bad to lose access to an online outlet for expression. So get rid of 230 so we can come back!" But this call to change Section 230 is silly, for a number of reasons. One is that Section 230 is not at the root of their de-platforming; the First Amendment is. Secondly, while I'm unhappy about WIRED's editorial decision to publish this piece of questionable journalism, I remain perfectly happy and committed to defending its right to publish its questionable journalism. Nobody's expression is vindicated by using law to limit anyone else's expressive rights, even if they have used them questionably; if anything, the situation calls for doubling down on speech protection, including with a law like Section 230 that makes First Amendment rights less illusory and more substantively meaningful for everyone.

Furthermore, as the Copia Institute has talked about many times in our Section 230 advocacy, there is an internal balance to Section 230 that allows it to work effectively. In order to get the most beneficial and least deleterious content online that we can overall, platforms need to be legally safe to leave as much as they want up and take as much as they want down. When either protection, currently guaranteed by Section 230, starts to disappear, it starts tying platforms' hands such that they are no longer able to do the best they can on either front. In other words, making it legally impossible for platforms to remove users is not going to lead to more valuable and less problematic content online. It will just put platforms under strain and make it hard for them to be available for anyone to use.

So repealing Section 230 is not going to help anyone speak online. And that includes both the people who have been de-platformed and also the vulnerable who always need to have a platform available to be able to speak out against those who would seek to hurt them. Which often, ironically, is the very same people complaining of being de-platformed. It is very strange to see the law's opponents quoted in the article, who often claim to oppose the law as a means of protecting the vulnerable, push for a policy change that will only make the vulnerable even more so. Especially when it's the exact same policy change that people who would want to hurt the vulnerable keep calling for themselves. They can't both be right, and the fact that these two fundamentally opposed groups would seem to want the same thing itself suggests that neither of them are.

What this episode shows is that people cannot be dependent on the traditional media gatekeepers to enable their public expression, no matter how much they need to be able to express it. In fact, the less powerful the voice, the more important it is that these voices not be dependent on gatekeepers to speak so that they can always be able to speak against those who might hurt them. And so they need Section 230 to exist to enable other outlets they can use instead (including, potentially, their own, which Section 230 makes it much more practically possible to make). Without that law, and without these outlets, we will be without that expression, and that will be no good for anyone.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: advocacy, gatekeepers, section 230


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 1:58pm

    Wired

    Mike your just not giving the nazis a chance. The sky was still blue in Germany in 1940 man what’s the deal?

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:03am

      Re: Wired

      Mm'yeah...and Hitler loved dogs. Those were some classy duds the SS wore. The nazis invented highways.

      Sadly Poe is still in session because, lamentably, some bona fide nazis today posit exactly those arguments above as to why the reich just got a bad rep. What is pretty scary is that dumbass non-nazi morons have started believing it.

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

  • identicon
    CyberKender, 7 May 2021 @ 2:16pm

    I often wonder...

    ...how the people who want to repeal Section 230 feel about allowing shooting victims to sue the gun manufacturers...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 2:39pm

    Possible incorrect word

    In other to get the most beneficial and least deleterious content online that we can overall, platforms need to be legally safe to leave as much as they want up and take as much as they want down.

    I believe this should be "In order to get [...]".

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 2:40pm

    'You shut it when I'm using your words dishonestly against you!'

    Ordinarily, of course, my work can speak for itself. The problem was, the author of this piece didn't let it speak for itself. Instead he stripped it of its context, plucking out only bits of the overall argument, citing ideas so incompletely, so orphaned from the overall message in which they were delivered, as to effectively mischaracterize my position. And then he used that mischaracterization of what I had argued as ammunition to underpin his anti-230 argument.

    It's one thing to simply misread and misunderstand something, that can be excused as an honest mistake, but this? No, it's all but impossible to see this as anything but deliberate, indicative of someone who was not honestly looking into the subject and reading other opinions on it but who had already decided their conclusion and was looking for strawmen to throw up and tear down in order to 'bolster' their point.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 3:04pm

      indicative of someone who was not honestly looking into the subject and reading other opinions on it but who had already decided their conclusion and was looking for strawmen to throw up and tear down in order to 'bolster' their point

      Kinda reminds me of someone around here. Oh, I wish I could think of their name. But damn it all, I can’t come up with that name right now. You got any ideas?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Max, 7 May 2021 @ 3:18pm

    O RLY?

    "If I have things to say, I obviously cannot depend on traditional media gatekeepers like Conde Nast magazines to help me say them."

    Ah yes, on the other hand it's perfectly okay to just kick anyone off one of the main social platforms for any reason they might find objectionable because those folks are free to just make their own little corner on the internet nobody reads and knows about - not even having, you know, the readership of a modest mag like Techdirt - so it's all okay. Except when Wired says something you don't get a chance to refute to the same audience. Gotcha...

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 3:23pm

      I have One Simple Question for you.

      Yes or no: 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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:38pm

        Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

        Yes or no: 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?

        YES. Corporations asked permission to exist, and promise to SERVE The Public, meaning under OUR rules not boy billionaires.

        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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:40pm

        Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

        YES. Corporations asked permission to exist, and promise to SERVE The Public, meaning under OUR rules not boy billionaires.

        YOU obviously oppose the "lunch counter principle" that blacks had to fight for, and advocate that businesses can control the society by arbitrary rules, like Royalty. YOU and Maz are CORPORATISTS, never advocate for The Public except by pretending that corporate rules are the way The Public is best served. YOU ARE DE FACTO FASCISTS.

        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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:42pm

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          And just for the record: BLOCKED until removed block quote. The mysterious "filters" or Admin action out of sight?

          Either way, there's too much room for shenanigans in corporate control. -- They'll censor you kids too when convenient! You are NOT important to them.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 5:54pm

          YES.

          I have a follow-up question for you, Brainy. Yes or no: If you believe the government should have the right to force speech upon privately owned open-to-the-public property, do you believe the government should have the right to force an anti-gay baker into decorating a wedding cake for a gay couple?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 6:05pm

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          Please walk into a local business and start shouting at them that your political views are equivalent to someone's race.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 6:06pm

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          The Public is best served. YOU ARE DE FACTO FASCISTS.

          Says the person demanding the government have more power and authority over individuals** and private property.

          ** Hint: corporations of made of individuals, and people coming together don't suddenly stop being individuals.

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 8:09pm

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          YOU ARE DE FACTO FASCISTS

          [Projects facts not in evidence]

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 May 2021 @ 1:20am

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          "YOU ARE DE FACTO FASCISTS"

          You're the one calling for government takeover of private property and removal of speech rights. The rest of us are just telling you to fuck off to places where people actually want to put up with you. Which exist, and are numerous.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:10am

          Re: Re: I have One Simple Question for you.

          "YES. Corporations asked permission to exist, and promise to SERVE The Public, meaning under OUR rules not boy billionaires."

          That's...almost word for word right out of the communist manifesto. From each according to their ability, To all according to their needs? Private property allowed to exist only for the common good?

          Time to stop pretending, Baghdad Bob.

          "YOU ARE DE FACTO FASCISTS."

          Says the moron who just delivered Mussolini's campaign speech. This was as weird to read as it would be to hear Hitler screaming "You nazi scum!" at FDR.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 3:42pm

      Re: O RLY?

      Ah yes, on the other hand it's perfectly okay to just kick anyone off one of the main social platforms for any reason they might find objectionable because those folks are free to just make their own little corner on the internet nobody reads and knows about - not even having, you know, the readership of a modest mag like Techdirt - so it's all okay. Except when Wired says something you don't get a chance to refute to the same audience. Gotcha...

      What? No one is saying that Wired has to give us an audience. Indeed, we know damn well that the audience of Wired is significantly larger than Techdirt. But at least we can say what we want somewhere. The issue we have is not that Wired doesn't let us reply on their property. They have every right to write whatever nonsense they want to write.

      The issue is that without 230 there would ONLY be those gatekeeper places. With 230 there are lots of places where we and anyone can speak. So, if one place refuses, you have other places to go.

      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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re: O RLY?

        Maz: you are visibly offering a Public Forum and have ZERO disclaimers reserving rights, YET you -- or someone since you're too chicken to admit -- HIDES comments, thereby disadvantaging.

        Also, I complain of the alleged "spam filter" that always catches MY comments and never get released from alleged "Moderation", either.

        This appears to be a Public Forum but is actually a corporate propaganda outlet. --So what position would one expect here than what's visible, attempting to control discussion with "hiding" comments?

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 5:56pm

          you are visibly offering a Public Forum

          Oh, good. I finally get to destroy this notion in a direct reply to you.

          ahem

          Social media services are not public fora; if you need a citation for that, look no further than a Supreme Court ruling from 2019 where Justice Brett Kavanaugh(!) wrote the majority opinion:

          Under the Court’s cases, a private entity may qualify as a state actor when it exercises “powers traditionally exclusively reserved to the State.” … It is not enough that the federal, state, or local government exercised the function in the past, or still does. And it is not enough that the function serves the public good or the public interest in some way. Rather, to qualify as a traditional, exclusive public function within the meaning of our state-action precedents, the government must have traditionally and exclusively performed the function.

          The Court has stressed that “very few” functions fall into that category. … Under the Court’s cases, those functions include, for example, running elections and operating a company town. … The Court has ruled that a variety of functions do not fall into that category, including, for example: running sports associations and leagues, administering insurance payments, operating nursing homes, providing special education, representing indigent criminal defendants, resolving private disputes, and supplying electricity.

          When the government provides a forum for speech (known as a public forum), the government may be constrained by the First Amendment, meaning that the government ordinarily may not exclude speech or speakers from the forum on the basis of viewpoint, or sometimes even on the basis of content[.]

          By contrast, when a private entity provides a forum for speech, the private entity is not ordinarily constrained by the First Amendment because the private entity is not a state actor. The private entity may thus exercise editorial discretion over the speech and speakers in the forum. This Court so ruled in its 1976 decision in Hudgens v. NLRB. There, the Court held that a shopping center owner is not a state actor subject to First Amendment requirements such as the public forum doctrine[.]

          The Hudgens decision reflects a commonsense principle: Providing some kind of forum for speech is not an activity that only governmental entities have traditionally performed. Therefore, a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor. After all, private property owners and private lessees often open their property for speech. Grocery stores put up community bulletin boards. Comedy clubs host open mic nights. As Judge Jacobs persuasively explained, it “is not at all a near-exclusive function of the state to provide the forums for public expression, politics, information, or entertainment[”.]

          In short, merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.

          If the rule were otherwise, all private property owners and private lessees who open their property for speech would be subject to First Amendment constraints and would lose the ability to exercise what they deem to be appropriate editorial discretion within that open forum. Private property owners and private lessees would face the unappetizing choice of allowing all comers or closing the platform altogether. “The Constitution by no means requires such an attenuated doctrine of dedication of private property to public use.” … Benjamin Franklin did not have to operate his newspaper as “a stagecoach, with seats for everyone.” … That principle still holds true. As the Court said in Hudgens, to hold that private property owners providing a forum for speech are constrained by the First Amendment would be “to create a court-made law wholly disregarding the constitutional basis on which private ownership of property rests in this country.” … The Constitution does not disable private property owners and private lessees from exercising editorial discretion over speech and speakers on their property.

          A private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 6:14pm

            Re:

            "Aughhhh!!! The obviousness and SCOTUS precedent burns!!" -- Our "favorite" troll probably.... if they were able to read and understand the argument.

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

            • icon
              Samuel Abram (profile), 9 May 2021 @ 2:36am

              Re: Re:

              Not just a SCOTUS precedent, but one from a Trump appointee that the left-wing unanimously opposed and the right-wing unanimously backed.

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

          • icon
            Tanner Andrews (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 3:38am

            Re:

            The rule seems stated correctly. The problem is its application to the facts of the case. The city had a cable TV station, whose operation they turned to a private actor to avoid having to air criticism.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:24am

              Whether I agree with the ruling based on the facts of the case is irrelevant. (And I don’t know enough about said facts to say whether I agree.) Alls I know is a conservative-leaning Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States said “[a] private entity … who opens its property for speech by others is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor”. If that doesn’t make Brainy shut up about corporate-owned speech platforms on the Internet, nothing will.

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

              • icon
                Tanner Andrews (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 12:54am

                Re:

                If that doesn’t make Brainy shut up about corporate-owned speech platforms on the Internet, nothing will.

                Agreed, though my guess is that the conditional will be met.

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

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 14 May 2021 @ 7:30am

                  Re: Re:

                  Well, it wouldn't be the first, second or thousandth time Baghdad Bob ignored a SCOTUS ruling, factual reality, historical precedent, basic logic or math because it happened to conflict with the world inside his head.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:21am

            Re:

            I'm giving you a lightbulb for that one, Stephen.

            Sadly it's going to go right over the head of Baghdad Bob because he still can't read english well enough to understand that a privately owned platform can not ever, under any circumstances, be a public space.

            He'll just hate you more for using difficult words and concepts against him.

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

        • identicon
          Rocky, 7 May 2021 @ 7:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: O RLY?

          Maz: you are visibly offering a Public Forum and have ZERO disclaimers reserving rights, YET you -- or someone since you're too chicken to admit -- HIDES comments, thereby disadvantaging.

          Do you shit on the floors at a mall even though there is no disclaimer saying it's forbidden? Does the mall then disadvantage your bowels by kicking you out?

          Also, I complain of the alleged "spam filter" that always catches MY comments and never get released from alleged "Moderation", either.

          Well, it was a spam-filter...but considering the effort you have put into training it, it's now a moron-filter.

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

        • icon
          Khym Chanur (profile), 8 May 2021 @ 2:58am

          Re: Re: Re: O RLY?

          Maz: you are visibly offering a Public Forum and have ZERO disclaimers reserving rights, YET you

          So if I put up my own personal blog, let anyone comment, but forgot to put up a disclaimer saying "I reserve the right to delete any comments as I see fit", there's some law that would require me to not delete comments? If so, which law is that? If not, what do you mean?

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

        • icon
          Bluegrass Geek (profile), 8 May 2021 @ 5:39am

          Re: Re: Re: O RLY?

          So what position would one expect here than what's visible, attempting to control discussion with "hiding" comments?

          You still don't understand how this site works, do you?

          See that little red flag after a comment? The one that says Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam? When enough people click that button, that's what hides the comment.

          Which means enough people who read these comments think your opinions are worthless to "downvote" you until the comment is hidden. And yet, it's not deleted. Anyone who wants to see your comment can! It's one click away.

          And yet, even after I explain this to you, I fully expect you to be back tomorrow making the exact same complaint, pretending you don't understand. I know the spam filter has been explained to you multiple times, but yet you still pretend to not understand how it works.

          It's sad, really. You have no life, no self-confidence, and feel the only way to have any control over your life is to spew the same tired complaints onto a website you can't stand, just so you can see people react. As if that gives you some measure of control over them. (Hint: it doesn't.)

          You need help. Please seek it.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:18am

          Re: Re: Re: O RLY?

          "Maz: you are visibly offering a Public Forum..."

          He's not. In fact, no private entity can legally offer any form of public forum. Not without handing all ownership of Techdirt over to local government.

          That you are such a benighted shitwit you can't see the difference between an open forum and a public one isn't our problem. Techdirt is no more a public forum than a privately owned bar is.

          "or someone since you're too chicken to admit -- HIDES comments, thereby disadvantaging."

          There are perhaps twenty or so techdirt regulars who have admitted to flagging your comments because they think your comments are a hot mess of falsehoods, blustering troll rhetoric and ad hominem. I'm certainly one of the ones flagging you as is, I believe, most other named accounts around here.

          So no need to go blame Mike for that. Your comments are hidden because the vast majority of people reading TD flag them as worthless and no one upvotes them.

          You're an asshole who upsets most sane people and no one wants to have around. It's that simple.

          "This appears to be a Public Forum..."

          Only to the willfully ill-informed. No private entity can create or host a public forum. A public forum is one owned by taxpayer money. Full stop.

          So unless you can prove your previous assertion that Mike's a CIA operative and techdort paid for by the government your assertions are wrong. As usual, I should say.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 3:44pm

      Re: O RLY?

      Gotcha...

      Thank you for clearly labeling your strawman.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 7 May 2021 @ 4:25pm

      Re: O RLY?

      Ah yes, on the other hand it's perfectly okay to just kick anyone off one of the main social platforms for any reason they might find objectionable because those folks are free to just make their own little corner on the internet nobody reads and knows about - not even having, you know, the readership of a modest mag like Techdirt - so it's all okay.

      Yes. Or are you one of those that think forcing yourself upon others is acceptable behavior, preferable with the help of the government? Where I come from, we call that type of people for assholes and we kick them out regardless since I don't actually live in a totalitarian state of the type you seem to be hankering after.

      Btw, you really should try to something about your reading comprehension, it's abysmal.

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

      • icon
        sumgai (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 7:50pm

        Re: Re: O RLY?

        Btw, you really should try to something about your reading comprehension, it's abysmal.

        Evelyn Wood is probably looking for him right now, wanting to give him back his money, for obvious reasons. ;)

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 7:26am

        Re: Re: O RLY?

        "...are you one of those that think forcing yourself upon others is acceptable behavior, preferable with the help of the government?"

        No need to ask. Baghdad Bob has confirmed, multiple times, that this is exactly the sort of asshole he is.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 7:52pm

      Re: O RLY?

      Gotcha

      [Asserts facts not in evidence]

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 3:28pm

    wired.com used to be an actual news site about 3-4years ago.

    Now it's just 2/3rds of the screen size unskippable/uncloseable adverts, Dell press releases and malware drivebys.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 6:51pm

      Re:

      May I recommend you look into the plugin "noscript"?

      Failing that, may I recommend you look into alternative web sites, such as Techdirt?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 4:40pm

    Who knows what startups would exist in country's that do not have section 230, its impossible to say
    I don't think reddit could have started in Europe due to various legal laws on using content or images without permission
    Investors and startups can start in America knowing they won't be wiped out by random legal action because of content posted by users
    We have seen many people who were acting in a racist or sexist or abusive manner outed on twitter
    I find it hard when reporters seem to downplay they importance
    of section 230 or misunderstanding how it works
    I suppose when you live in a country with free speech and the 1st amendment it's easy to take freedom of speech for granted
    as opposed to living in country's like Russia where journalists
    can be arrested simply for reporting on protests
    or being present at a protest
    and independent media is constantly under attack

    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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:24pm

    innocuous leader

    On the "free speech" site -- I give NO thanks to Techdirt! It's secretly controlling what claim to be and appears to be an open forum.

    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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:30pm

      Re: innocuous leader

      And I'm IN, though two weeks ago -- last time was a topic of other than Maz ranting -- was completely blocked by the mysterious "spam filter", an alleged okay purpose but MY comments NEVER come out of it. -- Though Maz looked at it and stated that I'd repeatedly tried, he STILL didn't let any of those out.

      This time only a little trouble. Am I sneaking in when the "filters" are low, or allowed? Techdirt won't say. When scaled up that's dangerous unaccountable and unknown power that businesses -- Techdirt IS a business -- should simply not have.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 6:07pm

        Re: Re: innocuous leader

        So these 25 comments are what happens when they let you through the filter. NObody else seems to have to spam comments to get in, ever consider just making a single concise post instead of pointlessly attacking other people?

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 8 May 2021 @ 1:37am

        Re: Re: innocuous leader

        "Am I sneaking in when the "filters" are low, or allowed?"

        This gets explained to you regularly. Your constant spam gets treated as spam and gets caught by filters doing their job correctly. Then, because they're honest, unbiased people, Techdirt go through the filters regularly and unblock comments that don't meet the definition of commercial spam.

        This is why your impotent rants are always so sadly pathetic. You claim there's a conspiracy against you because your spam is treated as spam, but the reason we're all able to laugh at you is because the site treats you with more respect than you actually deserve.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 8:10pm

      Re: innocuous leader

      it's secretly controlling what claim to be and appears to be an open forum.

      [Hallucinates facts not in evidence]

      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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:25pm

    Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitter!

    Those globalist entities have at least TWO TRILLION DOLLARS ensuring that their view will get out.

    Money which not incidentally "supports" EFF, YOU, and Maz. What actually enables YOU and Maz to support Section 230 is whatever Silicon Valley entities "support" you. -- Which you of course don't mention because this an opinion "blog" and not journalism.

    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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:25pm

      Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitt

      The argument is whether individuals ("natural" persons) should be allowed access to Public Forums ONLY by permission of TRILLION DOLLAR corporations.

      THAT WAS NEVER AND IS NOT THE DEAL! The Public is to be beneficiary of ALL Law, period.

      Our representatives authorized Section 230, that's the SOLE legal basis of it, and the "platforms" ARE intended to be fair and open under The Public's terms, NOT those of boy billionaires (de facto, another part of argument, don't legalistic me).

      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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:25pm

      Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitt

      You and Maz have fallback position that the First Amendment enables "platforms" to control all speech on them, to Rule over The Public. That's simply utterly perverse twisting of bedrock COMMON LAW. You and Maz try to avoid that line of argument because when that's made clear, it's a loser for you.

      NO, The Public is to benefit, NOT legal fictions called corporations, AFTER they get permission from gov't to exist and operate a business.

      The Internet must be kept fair and open -- by gov't force if necessary -- for Public access to "The Internet" under Common Law / Brandenburg rules, with CLEAR statements of alleged violations, and appeals procedures to regular courts, not more self-serving corporate star-chambers.

      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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitt

      We The People OWN the internet and only allow corporations to exist after Corporate officers agreed to SERVE The Public and paid a fee to be permitted to do business!

      We The People did NOT make ourselves SUBJECT to legal fictions!

      The Rich are vigorously trying to breach that agreement and establish as Rulers in a fascist system, a pretty literal Fourth Reich. -- YOU and Maz are evidently paid to flack for The Rich.

      No individual has ever agreed to be arbitrarily censored even by "Terms Of Service", but expect Common Law / Brandenburg rules, not those of self-serving corporations.

      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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:26pm

      Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitt

      What We The People expect IS The Law since 1776. Common Law is the very basis of America.

      Right here on "free speech" Techdirt is clear example of attempted control -- the visible part is silly and ineffective -- so that opposing views simply aren't seen.

      But there's action out of sight that totally censors opposing views -- I bring it up often as can! -- Censoring is the only way you fascists can win.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 7:42pm

        Re: Re:

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

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

        • icon
          sumgai (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 7:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ... out of the blue
          .... shoved up his ass with a screw

          Does that mean he was screwed, blued, and it remains only for him to be tattooed?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2021 @ 6:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think there's been other attempts to write sequels to my limerick over the years. None of them come to mind, unfortunately.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2021 @ 11:20am

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        Right here on "free speech" Techdirt is clear example of attempted control

        Yup it sure is. You're once again a 'victim' of the community (correctly) thinking you're a whiny, insignificant asshole that no one wants to listen to.

        We're exercising our free speech rights to tell you to virtually fuck off by hiding your horse shit. As far as the spam filter doing something similar, the lesson there is 'don't be a spamming asshole, asshole.'

        You could always try 'frankspeech' - I hear that's a robust and vibrant platform, rife with features like watching the same video over and over, and no method to sign on. Or, you can go to Trump's site and complain there.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 May 2021 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        Right here on "free speech" Techdirt is clear example of attempted control

        Point out where the constitutions says you can compel people to listen to you. Free speech means that the government will not stop you publishing you speech at your own expense, or with the agreement and aid of a third party.

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 11:02pm

          Re: Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Faceboo

          He's complaining that Techdirt are "taking control" of... their own property.

          Yet again, Comrade Blue requires an absolute communist government takeover of private property whose owners he disagrees with, because that's somehow easier than acting like a grown adult.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 May 2021 @ 7:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Fac

            And then he calls everyone else a fascist which is, by now, like hearing Benito Mussolini trying to scold someone else for that.

            I swear, reading even a fraction of Baghdad bob's posts has been like looking at a ten year long train wreck which never stops exploding and catching fire.

            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, 7 May 2021 @ 5:27pm

      Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, Twitt

      The real argument over Section 230 must include all aspects of corporate control over what was promised to be open and fair. These paid fascists are ever more openly advocating unaccountable control by corporations.

      And where will corporatists stop? They already claim to have total control! Now it's just a matter of enforcement!

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 5:57pm

        Shut up, Meg.

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

      • icon
        sumgai (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 8:00pm

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        .... promises....

        So point out for us just exactly where, when, and to whom any such promises were made, if you please.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 8:12pm

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        corporate control over what was promised to be open and fair.

        ... that doesn't exist in the real world.

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

      • icon
        WarioBarker (profile), 7 May 2021 @ 10:08pm

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        These paid fascists are ever more openly advocating unaccountable control by corporations.

        I mean, you're not wrong - look at how long Republicans were championing for zero regulation for Big Telecom prior to Net Neutrality being repealed.

        ...Oh wait, you weren't referring to that, were you?

        And where will corporatists stop? They already claim to have total control! Now it's just a matter of enforcement!

        Because the basic ability to be able to punish those who take a crap on your floor is evil.

        Go back to QAnon land or whatever other internet sewer you crawled out from.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 May 2021 @ 1:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Faceboo

          I just
          paid fascists
          need to leave this here.
          It sounds so funny.

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

      • icon
        Khym Chanur (profile), 8 May 2021 @ 3:01am

        Re: Re: Argument not over views favorable to GOOGLE, Facebook, T

        The real argument over Section 230 must include all aspects of corporate control over what was promised to be open and fair.

        So then would you be okay with 230 still applying to non-profits and personally run sites?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 May 2021 @ 7:05pm

    Condé Nast properties have enough lawsuit bait to make a low level republican troll lawyer feel like he found Spanish gold.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2021 @ 6:35am

    Spammers ...

    ... aren't people. They are merely incarnate vices. Blocking them out is a benefit to us (the REAL people), like inoculating us against viruses, or sterilizing mosquitoes that carry plague.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2021 @ 8:56am

    I haven't read the oral vomit that is Wired in years.

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

  • identicon
    Glenn, 8 May 2021 @ 12:38pm

    Congress should require members to pass a simple test (10 true/false questions, for example) of what Section 230 actually says before they're allowed to propose changes to it. (This should also be true for any law.)

    As things currently stand, maybe 2 of them would be able to pass.

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

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 9 May 2021 @ 2:41am

      Re:

      I believe the only member who would pass that test with flying colors would be Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or.), who actually co-wrote the amendment with then-Rep. Chris Cox (R-Orange County, CA).

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 May 2021 @ 11:50am

        Re: Re:

        I believe the only member who would pass that test with flying colors would be Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or.), who actually co-wrote the amendment with then-Rep. Chris Cox (R-Orange County, CA).

        Take out 'with flying colors' and you'd probably be more accurate, of the people complaining about 230 it seems either none of them have ever read it, they read it but quickly forgot or they remember but are lying through their teeth about it.

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 May 2021 @ 11:33am

    It's really depressing that the people fighting for freedom, whether it's on the net, or in the government, are out there telling the truth, while the other side is apparently free to lie their asses off with absolutely zero consequences. :(

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 10 May 2021 @ 12:04pm

      Re:

      It's not depressing that obvious liars and con artists are acting that way. That's predictable and part of life.

      What's depressing is that so many people are such easy marks for the cons, and they have equal voting power to the sane and educated (and in some places, more voting power).

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

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 17 May 2021 @ 11:21am

    It's still depressing that people in positions of authority, such as elected officials, can blatantly lie and face no consequences.

    Considering that people more easily believe those in power, their lies do the most damage.

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


Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

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