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White House seeks to curtail free speech when it comes to social media

Hotspurr

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Washington (CNN Business)A draft executive order from the White House could put the Federal Communications Commission in charge of shaping how Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and other large tech companies curate what appears on their websites, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
The draft order, a summary of which was obtained by CNN, calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration's draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies. Politico first reported the existence of the draft.
If put into effect, the order would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms. And it could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit.


This happened over the weekend. Basically Trump mentioned before how the media is unfair to him (even Fox News these days, it seems), so he wants an executive order that would allow the government to regulate how tech companies handle speech on their platforms. This is a person who has previously said that he doesn't think "mainstream media is free speech either because it's so crooked. It's so dishonest. So to me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad". Is government regulation of social media platforms a good thing? (I think not)
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Yes, they're talking about removing a provision called Section 230 from the Communications Decency Act. It wouldn't have them "police" social media so much as it would remove these companies' protection from lawsuit if that company isn't upholding its end of the bargain, i.e. treating its users fairly and not censoring them when they do not break the Terms of Service. It's not about users who break a company's guidelines (which Section 230 would provide the network provider protection from lawsuit) but users who are still within the company's guidelines and are unfairly targeted.

So it's more like the government is no longer standing between our civil courts and these companies when the company in question is being partisan. They're not forming some UK-like content board that decides what does or doesn't get published. It's more like if these companies ban your content or blackball you, now they have a recourse through the government to be fairly represented in court.
 

Papa

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Yes, they're talking about removing a provision called Section 230 from the Communications Decency Act. It wouldn't have them "police" social media so much as it would remove these companies' protection from lawsuit if that company isn't upholding its end of the bargain, i.e. treating its users fairly and not censoring them when they do not break the Terms of Service. It's not about users who break a company's guidelines (which Section 230 would provide the network provider protection from lawsuit) but users who are still within the company's guidelines and are unfairly targeted.

So it's more like the government is no longer standing between our civil courts and these companies when the company in question is being partisan. They're not forming some UK-like content board that decides what does or doesn't get published. It's more like if these companies ban your content or blackball you, now they have a recourse through the government to be fairly represented in court.

So reactive instead of proactive, which is how it should be.
 

danielberg

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"Not allowing social media tech giants to censor conservatives for 100% political reasons is a means to curtail free speech!!"
Lol whatever you have to tell yourself
 
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NickFire

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Yes, they're talking about removing a provision called Section 230 from the Communications Decency Act. It wouldn't have them "police" social media so much as it would remove these companies' protection from lawsuit if that company isn't upholding its end of the bargain, i.e. treating its users fairly and not censoring them when they do not break the Terms of Service. It's not about users who break a company's guidelines (which Section 230 would provide the network provider protection from lawsuit) but users who are still within the company's guidelines and are unfairly targeted.

So it's more like the government is no longer standing between our civil courts and these companies when the company in question is being partisan. They're not forming some UK-like content board that decides what does or doesn't get published. It's more like if these companies ban your content or blackball you, now they have a recourse through the government to be fairly represented in court.
Just going off the OP, it sounds like they are just proposing a delineation between website host and publisher. If the site consistently promotes an agenda, message, etc., because of cherry picking in the way they enforce the TOS or slanting the TOS in a particular way, they would simply be treated like a publisher (and have the same liability as all publishers) instead of a web host. If that is what they are looking at, all it means is social media platforms cannot act like a publisher while enjoying the benefits of merely being a host. Which is something I would support regardless of who proposed it. No corporate conglomerate should be allowed to wield this kind of power in partisan ways without any accountability whatsoever. If they want immunity then take no sides in politics. If they want to shape narratives then they can be responsible for what is published.
 

Hotspurr

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Yes, they're talking about removing a provision called Section 230 from the Communications Decency Act. It wouldn't have them "police" social media so much as it would remove these companies' protection from lawsuit if that company isn't upholding its end of the bargain, i.e. treating its users fairly and not censoring them when they do not break the Terms of Service. It's not about users who break a company's guidelines (which Section 230 would provide the network provider protection from lawsuit) but users who are still within the company's guidelines and are unfairly targeted.

So it's more like the government is no longer standing between our civil courts and these companies when the company in question is being partisan. They're not forming some UK-like content board that decides what does or doesn't get published. It's more like if these companies ban your content or blackball you, now they have a recourse through the government to be fairly represented in court.

So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?
 

#Phonepunk#

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this is what everyone wanted, right? big bad Russia could use the internet to do bad things like post fake news, wikileaks were doing whatever they wanted, and nobody was policing Facebook. "why doesn't someone do something about all this?" we said. well now the US gov't is trying to police all of it. congrats.

tbh i always saw it going this way. the internet of the late 90s was a wild west, nowadays it's more or less network tv, complete with commercials.
 
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NickFire

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So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?
If they act like a publisher they should be liable for what is published (just like Foxnews is liable for what they publish). If they act like website host and not publisher, then they continue to enjoy immunity. This just makes the geniuses who know how to manipulate algorithms, search suggestions, and what people see first as liable for their actions as Foxnews is.
 

Papa

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So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?

Except this isn't what's happening. They're simply attempting to remove a provision that provides immunity from lawsuits as neutral platform hosts (which they aren't if they're censoring legal content on political/ideological grounds). The lawsuit would still have to go through the court system. The government can't just say they're being partisan and that's the end of it.

Maybe stick to infowars.
 

oagboghi2

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So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?
Are you purposely being obtuse? The government isn't "deciding" anything. They are removing regulatory protections social media companies have now, so they can be challenged if they act like a publisher instead of a open platform
 

Papa

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Are you purposely being obtuse? The government isn't "deciding" anything. They are removing regulatory protections social media companies have now, so they can be challenged if they act like a publisher instead of a open platform

Exactly.

Government creates regulatory protections -> corporations abuse regulatory protections -> government threatens to take regulatory protections away -> brainlets scream tyranny.
 

danielberg

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And best of all it was all google, twitter and facebooks own doing no one forced them to play democrat pr agency, make up plans to "stop trump" or spread literal muh russia conspiracy lies on a global scale for 3 years while at the same time banning more than half a million conservative accounts for rightly calling it out as a lie.
And this all because a PRIVILEGE was granted to them in the believe they would not abuse their power but they blatantly did for years, meaning they lost the right to that priviledge and in fact can never ever be trusted with it again not at the current size of these tech cunts.
 
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Hotspurr

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Are you purposely being obtuse? The government isn't "deciding" anything. They are removing regulatory protections social media companies have now, so they can be challenged if they act like a publisher instead of a open platform

They are not blanket removing the protections - did you read the article? There will be protections, but the FCC (which last time I checked was a government agency), will decide what qualifies to be protected and what does not. The FCC then gets to shut down your site if it is "proven" that your practices were not in line with their subjective guidelines. There is a reason they do not want to meddle in this area given the subjective nature of things. Also should private companies not be allowed control over what content they display on their sites? I am surprised so many here want more government control and intervention, you guys becoming leftists or something?
 

danielberg

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They fucked themselves censored, banned, spread a conspiracy and banned people who called it out as such, they abused their power all to political help democrats in every way possible, they dont get to have undeserved privileges anymore its that simple.
 
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Papa

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They are not blanket removing the protections - did you read the article? There will be protections, but the FCC (which last time I checked was a government agency), will decide what qualifies to be protected and what does not. The FCC then gets to shut down your site if it is "proven" that your practices were not in line with their subjective guidelines. There is a reason they do not want to meddle in this area given the subjective nature of things. Also should private companies not be allowed control over what content they display on their sites? I am surprised so many here want more government control and intervention, you guys becoming leftists or something?

You know I've been needling you because I suspect you of being an agitator, right? A very subtle one, but a troll nonetheless. Your last sentence there gives credence to my suspicions.
 
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Sleepydays

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Basically Trump mentioned before how the media is unfair to him (even Fox News these days, it seems), so he wants an executive order that would allow the government to regulate how tech companies handle speech on their platforms.

Those are two very separate spheres, so it's odd you'd conflate them.

Do you have absolutely no concerns about social media's role in our public discourse? Do you think they've fulfilled what is required of them to retain the legal protections Section 230 affords them?
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?
I don't think that's what is going on.

Basically, if companies want to act like non-public utilities and to be completely safe from lawsuits from content posted on their network, that's fine. They need to act like non-public utilities and abide by their own terms, if that is their aim. If a company wants to act like a news platform and push specific agendas and paradigms without providing equal visibility for competing ideas, they are acting as a publisher. This is also fine, but then it means they are responsible for the content posted on their networks.

The act was already heavily amended over 2 years ago, to cut out provisions for websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking, which especially applies to underage sex trafficking and underage porn. One could argue this paved the way for the government to selectively hold platforms accountable for the content on their network, but it was for the opposite reason: websites were throwing their hands up and saying "ohhhh we had no idea there were huge networks of prostitution websites on our webservers... wink wink".

It's actually kind of surprising -- in the modern culture of demanding that corporations "pay their fair share" and stop maliciously using our data and spying on us and resisting cyberpunk-esque megacorporations and so forth -- that forum-users like ourselves would not be unanimously in favor of companies being held accountable for censoring their users. Are we not internet users? I thought it was a given that we should support the freeflow of information. When a company pushes an agenda and limits the number of viewpoints an internet user has access to, we should all be opposed to it.
 
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gioGAF

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Lol, wow is that thread title biased.

If this is indeed "about removing a provision called Section 230 from the Communications Decency Act" as noted by DunDunDunpachi, this is a great move! Social media giants hide behind that provision while at the same time not following the rules for being given that privilege.

In essence, they want to be treated like the phone company, a platform, and behave like a publisher. Fuck them, if they want to control the narrative, then they can be treated just like any other website on the internet that is pushing their own agenda. They should be responsible for content that goes up on their site / app just like anyone else.
 

oagboghi2

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They are not blanket removing the protections - did you read the article? There will be protections, but the FCC (which last time I checked was a government agency), will decide what qualifies to be protected and what does not. The FCC then gets to shut down your site if it is "proven" that your practices were not in line with their subjective guidelines. There is a reason they do not want to meddle in this area given the subjective nature of things. Also should private companies not be allowed control over what content they display on their sites? I am surprised so many here want more government control and intervention, you guys becoming leftists or something?

Be honest, you don't know what you are talking about, do you?

The FCC already has regulations governing these companies. These changes are about removing specific regulations and gives consumers the ability to challenge these companies in court.

Yes, if your practices break the law or if you are lying to consumers, now the FTC can go after your ass. Wow, more power to individual people and not giant corporations. What a fucking tyrant. Like seriously, are you reading what you are posting?

The FCC then gets to shut down your site if it is "proven" that your practices were not in line with their subjective guidelines.
Wow, so if the FCC can prove a company did something illegal, they could be punished? Why are you angry about this?

Also should private companies not be allowed control over what content they display on their sites?
McFly, have you been paying any attention? The argument isn't whether or not private companies can host content, and the fact that you would suggest implies either you are a troll or a fool. Yes, they can put whatever they want on their site.

The issue is how do these companies curate data. Are they a publisher, meaning they are responsible for what they host, or are they a open public platform, which gives them extra protections.
 

Weiji

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I mean, if the government wants to repeal section 230 fine.

But selective enforcement is a terrible idea which basically codifies that whoever is in power has the ability to coerce business.

It’s no different then illegal immigration. If you have laws they need to be enforced, period.

If you don’t like them you change them. This government by neglect shit is really destructive.
 
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Barsinister

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Hotspurr

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Be honest, you don't know what you are talking about, do you?

The FCC already has regulations governing these companies. These changes are about removing specific regulations and gives consumers the ability to challenge these companies in court.

Yes, if your practices break the law or if you are lying to consumers, now the FTC can go after your ass. Wow, more power to individual people and not giant corporations. What a fucking tyrant. Like seriously, are you reading what you are posting?


Wow, so if the FCC can prove a company did something illegal, they could be punished? Why are you angry about this?


McFly, have you been paying any attention? The argument isn't whether or not private companies can host content, and the fact that you would suggest implies either you are a troll or a fool. Yes, they can put whatever they want on their site.

The issue is how do these companies curate data. Are they a publisher, meaning they are responsible for what they host, or are they a open public platform, which gives them extra protections.

Again you are parroting the same twisted interpretation of things in this thread. How about coming up with your own original ideas and reading the damn article. Are you suffering from TDS? Trump Defense Syndrome?

The article is about the FCC not blanket removing certain regulations and applying then equally across all companies, it's about the FCC actively deciding in a very subjective way which companies break it's criteria in particular instances. If the FCC just said "private citizens can now sue companies" then that would make sense. But it's more like "well, you may have protections, or you may not, depending on whether the subjective view of the government in power happens to be at that point".

There is no blanket classification of a company as "publisher" or "public platform", it is evaluated on a case by case basis in a subjective manner based on the content, and puts speech under direct oversight by the government in the most subjective way.

Had you put half as much effort in trying to fire the limited neurons in your head into trying to understand the situation rather than insult people with arguments you don't like, maybe you wouldn't embarrass yourself so much and actually contribute something useful to the discussion.
 

Cucked SoyBoy

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So the government gets to decide when a company is being partisan or not? Is that really a good idea? Why doesn't the government just create it's own completely open communication platform online instead of subjectively giving or taking away protections for companies?

Imagine there is a right wing outlet that gets targeted by leftists. Their content gets taken down, and then the government decides to take away their protections because it happens to be a left wing government. That sounds good?


Since right-wingers already get banned daily by corporate whim, this is a silly argument.