Supreme Court argument casts doubt on Facebook, Twitter free speech rights

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  • Reply 21 of 36
    Regardless of politics, no one should be on the side of corporate regulation of speech, especially public speech. You may be in favor of it this time, but the next time, it might be your view they come after. In all of these things, we've repeatedly seen that what goes around comes around. 

    IMHO, these platforms have become de facto public forums. We're merely seeing the beginnings of serious debates on this issue. 

    But I think Facebook, Twitter et al should be a bit worried. And hope like hell that the Rs don't win back Congress. 
    entropyscornchip
  • Reply 22 of 36

    entropys said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Justice Thomas should be commended for recognizing the inherent danger of having put so much power in the hands of a few private entities. Back in the day, politicians never imagined that these private corporations, instead of being platforms for public opinion, became publishers, censoring whatever they decide is inappropriate, misinformation, or offensive. It is past time for Congress to either revisit Section 230 or have SCOTUS to do it for them.

    Don't newspapers and other media outlets (FOX, Newsmax, CNN, etc.) get to decide what they want to broadcast?  Aren't they then deciding what is inappropriate. what is misinformation or offensive and choose to call it out, or, as some do, portray it as real news?  I think they have MORE power than Twitter and FB.  If I don't like what Fox has to say, I have the freedom to watch a different news.  Anyone can choose to not use FB or Twitter if you don't like their content.
    Yes they do. But they are publishers, and are responsible for, and for example can be sued for content on their media.  A common carrier can’t be.
    But common carriers can deny service based on their terms/conditions. For example, how is an airline denying service to anyone not wearing a face covering any different from Facebook or Twitter denying service to anyone who posts an incitement to violence? Neither are discriminatory since they apply to anyone using the carrier. Changing the designation wouldn't have prevented certain conservative personalities from being banned from Facebook/Twitter since they were banned for terms/conditions violations. 
    You'd like them to be able to meet some legal standard of 'incitement to violence', no? Or does that not matter?
    edited April 5
  • Reply 23 of 36
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,105member
    fordee said:
    jimh2 said:
    It becomes a bigger problem with company creates an agenda dictated by them. 
    Why is that a problem? Fox News has done that for years…
    As has MSNBC, CNN and so on.
  • Reply 24 of 36
    leicamanleicaman Posts: 18member
    Justice Thomas is always on the wrong side of every issue.
    ronn
  • Reply 25 of 36
    fordee said:
    jimh2 said:
    It becomes a bigger problem with company creates an agenda dictated by them. 
    Why is that a problem? Fox News has done that for years…
    Fox News, and other “news” channels like CNN, MSNBC, etc. are considered publishers and aren’t protected by Section 230 like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. 
  • Reply 26 of 36
    The key difference is that the news outlets you mentioned are not entitled to Section 230 protections (because they are publishers). Section 230, as currently written, is way too broad and allows social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube to claim they aren’t publishers yet still pick and choose which content they want on their platforms.   The language in Section 230 that currently allows social media companies to claim protection is:

    (2) Civil liability - No provider or user of an interactive computer serviceshall be held liable on account of—

    (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected;

    Social media companies have been able to claim they aren’t publishers due to the inclusion of “otherwise objectionable”. IMO Section 230 needs to be re-written entirely but just removing “otherwise objectionable” would be a good start. 




    ITGUYINSD said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Justice Thomas should be commended for recognizing the inherent danger of having put so much power in the hands of a few private entities. Back in the day, politicians never imagined that these private corporations, instead of being platforms for public opinion, became publishers, censoring whatever they decide is inappropriate, misinformation, or offensive. It is past time for Congress to either revisit Section 230 or have SCOTUS to do it for them.

    Don't newspapers and other media outlets (FOX, Newsmax, CNN, etc.) get to decide what they want to broadcast?  Aren't they then deciding what is inappropriate. what is misinformation or offensive and choose to call it out, or, as some do, portray it as real news?  I think they have MORE power than Twitter and FB.  If I don't like what Fox has to say, I have the freedom to watch a different news.  Anyone can choose to not use FB or Twitter if you don't like their content.

  • Reply 27 of 36
    You do recall correctly. The coordinated actions taken by Apple, Google and Amazon completely invalidated the “build your own platform” argument.  

    And to answer your trivia question, I’m going to guess it was in the mid 1930s to 1940s and the last name of the leader of the “good guys” rhymed with shitler. 

    hodar said:
    zimmie said:

    Make your own platform. That is the remedy available to you.

    Banning users is a form of speech. 
    You mean like Parlor?  If I recall correctly, Amazon, Apple and Google worked in concert to eliminate the competition, and to prevent them from finding another internet provider.  Some would call that predatory anti-competitive behavior.  It was alleged for not moderating their content, however you will find similar violations on other platforms that are overlooked.

    Others would ask a simple question.  When was the last time a group of people who censored, burned books, used violence to shut down other points of view, who decided that they were the sole arbiters of what the "truth" was, considered the "Good Guys"?  

    It's not a trick question, feel free to refer to history.  I will simply quote Thomas Jefferson, who said "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."  (But what would he know?)

  • Reply 28 of 36
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,151member
    You do recall correctly. The coordinated actions taken by Apple, Google and Amazon completely invalidated the “build your own platform” argument.  

    And to answer your trivia question, I’m going to guess it was in the mid 1930s to 1940s and the last name of the leader of the “good guys” rhymed with shitler. 

    hodar said:
    zimmie said:

    Make your own platform. That is the remedy available to you.

    Banning users is a form of speech. 
    You mean like Parlor?  If I recall correctly, Amazon, Apple and Google worked in concert to eliminate the competition, and to prevent them from finding another internet provider.  Some would call that predatory anti-competitive behavior.  It was alleged for not moderating their content, however you will find similar violations on other platforms that are overlooked.

    Others would ask a simple question.  When was the last time a group of people who censored, burned books, used violence to shut down other points of view, who decided that they were the sole arbiters of what the "truth" was, considered the "Good Guys"?  

    It's not a trick question, feel free to refer to history.  I will simply quote Thomas Jefferson, who said "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."  (But what would he know?)

    "The coordinated actions taken by Apple, Google".. et.al. 
    That sentence is a wholly manufactured conspiracy, by people who are attempting to make this look like a silencing.
    Both with regard to the online stores and social media providers. Each took different levels of actions based on the perceived level of harm being done (in accordance with their ToS), over the various platforms this was either no action all the way up to twitter who temporarily blocked posting of new tweets until offending material was removed. This was neither coordinated nor equal across the providers - but always in direct response to what was being posted on their service.
    Correlation is not causation: The attack on the capitol is the common thread that led to the most serious actions from the service providers. However even then, each laid out a clear explanation for their actions and even went so far as to outline what would be needed to reinstate access. Again this is in response to how their services were used to organise an attack on their own government.

    Meanwhile there's people on here trying to shoe horn this discussion because it happened to their favourite political team. (To me that's the amazing part in of all this.)
    edited April 6
  • Reply 29 of 36
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,182member
    leicaman said:
    Justice Thomas is always on the wrong side of every issue.
    According to the stats, Clarence Thomas has been in agreement with Ruth Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor about 50% of the time, over the last several years at least.

    If Clarence Thomas has always been on the wrong side of every issue, then are you saying that Ruth Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor have been on the wrong side of the issue about half the time?

    If that's not what you're saying, then you know not what of what you said. 

    Or are you going to quote US State Dept. Robert Mccluskey from a speech in the 60"s (but also often credited to Alan Greenspan) and now say ........

    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant". 
    cornchip
  • Reply 30 of 36
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,128member
    You do recall correctly. The coordinated actions taken by Apple, Google and Amazon completely invalidated the “build your own platform” argument.  

    And to answer your trivia question, I’m going to guess it was in the mid 1930s to 1940s and the last name of the leader of the “good guys” rhymed with shitler. 

    hodar said:
    zimmie said:

    Make your own platform. That is the remedy available to you.

    Banning users is a form of speech. 
    You mean like Parlor?  If I recall correctly, Amazon, Apple and Google worked in concert to eliminate the competition, and to prevent them from finding another internet provider.  Some would call that predatory anti-competitive behavior.  It was alleged for not moderating their content, however you will find similar violations on other platforms that are overlooked.

    Others would ask a simple question.  When was the last time a group of people who censored, burned books, used violence to shut down other points of view, who decided that they were the sole arbiters of what the "truth" was, considered the "Good Guys"?  

    It's not a trick question, feel free to refer to history.  I will simply quote Thomas Jefferson, who said "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."  (But what would he know?)

    There is a difference here. They run stores and are responsible for what they offer and sell. If they were allowing an Apple that promotes child murders, would they be responsible? Could the be liable legally to those killed? What implications would it have on their brand and reputation in the market place. Associations for businesses have consequences. They are partially to blame for January 6 and they realized that after the fact. 

    If protections are removed, I can assure you the lock down on such content will be far more immediate and bad actors will get no room for error. Those including the former President who was pushing for this as a retaliation in true form, has no grasp of the unintended result and how it will be the reverse of what he intended. ISPs take down dark web sites for violating terms all the time. 

    News agencies are different in that they control what is viewed completely. The reason Fox as it should be sued for allowing, agreeing with and repeating over and over false claims about dominion voting systems. This is long overdue. Politicians should be considered to be under oath when they step to a mic or post to any platform as an official government representative. Any false statements made should be considered a breach of trust and there should be consequences for those lies. 

    This includes whoever is in the White House. If that information is found to have been knowingly presented to them as factual when it wasn’t, those presenting it are the ones liable. 

    If this was our standard. None of this would have transpired. 
  • Reply 31 of 36
    zimmiezimmie Posts: 502member
    hodar said:
    zimmie said:

    Make your own platform. That is the remedy available to you.

    Banning users is a form of speech. 
    You mean like Parlor?  If I recall correctly, Amazon, Apple and Google worked in concert to eliminate the competition, and to prevent them from finding another internet provider.  Some would call that predatory anti-competitive behavior.  It was alleged for not moderating their content, however you will find similar violations on other platforms that are overlooked.

    Others would ask a simple question.  When was the last time a group of people who censored, burned books, used violence to shut down other points of view, who decided that they were the sole arbiters of what the "truth" was, considered the "Good Guys"?  

    It's not a trick question, feel free to refer to history.  I will simply quote Thomas Jefferson, who said "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."  (But what would he know?)
    Oh, are Amazon, Apple, and Google the companies which approve every website? That's the only way bringing them into this conversation could make sense, so I guess they must be. You clearly know more about this than I do. My mistake.

    Comparing any of this to book-burning is absurd. This is telling people they are no longer welcome on a given private platform. There is plenty of space to build your own separate platform. Again, literal swastika-flag-waving neonazis have found hosting willing to put up with them. They don't hide who they are from their hosting providers or anything.

    Put in the work. If you're not willing to, then you don't get to complain that nobody else is willing to either, and the rest of us get to laugh at you for whining about being too lazy to fix your own problem.
    muthuk_vanalingamronn
  • Reply 32 of 36

    But common carriers can deny service based on their terms/conditions. For example, how is an airline denying service to anyone not wearing a face covering any different from Facebook or Twitter denying service to anyone who posts an incitement to violence? Neither are discriminatory since they apply to anyone using the carrier. Changing the designation wouldn't have prevented certain conservative personalities from being banned from Facebook/Twitter since they were banned for terms/conditions violations. 
    You'd like them to be able to meet some legal standard of 'incitement to violence', no? Or does that not matter?
    The carrier's terms/conditions would set the standard for what incitement to violence was considered to be. They're not taking someone to court. They're denying service.

    For example, not wearing shoes or a shirt is not a violation of a law that could be prosecuted in court, but it is grounds for denying service, i.e., "No shoes, No shirt, No service".
    edited April 6
  • Reply 33 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    zimmie said:
    If Clarance Thomas is against you, you know you've made an actual cogent argument. He is easily the least competent Supreme Court justice in the last century. He has written dissents which only cite other dissents he has written, as opposed to any law or actual precedent.

    Nonsense!    Here in is the problem, you don't like somebodies point of view thus you consider it wrong.    It is exactly what is happening with Facebook, Apple and other organizations that control public forums.
    cornchip
  • Reply 34 of 36
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,369member
    entropys said:
    ITGUYINSD said:
    bluefire1 said:
    Justice Thomas should be commended for recognizing the inherent danger of having put so much power in the hands of a few private entities. Back in the day, politicians never imagined that these private corporations, instead of being platforms for public opinion, became publishers, censoring whatever they decide is inappropriate, misinformation, or offensive. It is past time for Congress to either revisit Section 230 or have SCOTUS to do it for them.

    Don't newspapers and other media outlets (FOX, Newsmax, CNN, etc.) get to decide what they want to broadcast?  Aren't they then deciding what is inappropriate. what is misinformation or offensive and choose to call it out, or, as some do, portray it as real news?  I think they have MORE power than Twitter and FB.  If I don't like what Fox has to say, I have the freedom to watch a different news.  Anyone can choose to not use FB or Twitter if you don't like their content.
    Yes they do. But they are publishers, and are responsible for, and for example can be sued for content on their media.  A common carrier can’t be.
    But common carriers can deny service based on their terms/conditions. For example, how is an airline denying service to anyone not wearing a face covering any different from Facebook or Twitter denying service to anyone who posts an incitement to violence? Neither are discriminatory since they apply to anyone using the carrier. Changing the designation wouldn't have prevented certain conservative personalities from being banned from Facebook/Twitter since they were banned for terms/conditions violations. 

    In today's reality Martin Luther King would be banned for incitement.   This is the problem, people that don't like the message are blocking the free speech rights of those with a different view.   In the case of Facebook and Trump it was all about political views not the terms of service.

    Likewise look at the banning of Parler which again had little to do with incitement and everything to do with a political view that Apple objected to.   I mean seriously a few bad people use Apples platforms, do you ban Apples platforms because of a few bad Apples?   This is the thing that people object to, it is the heavy handed attacks on political platforms for what a small minority have to say there.
    cornchip
  • Reply 35 of 36
    wizard69 said: The problem is rules that block your rights as a citizen of the USA. It is via these rules that companies take away your rights as citizens.    
    1st amendment rights are specific to Congressional and governmental actions that would prohibit or restrict speech. A corporation that creates a social media app isn't subject to that standard. Neither are the app stores that carry the social media apps. They can restrict or prohibit anything they want as long as it's not done in a discriminatory manner. 
  • Reply 36 of 36
    fordeefordee Posts: 28member
    fordee said:
    jimh2 said:
    It becomes a bigger problem with company creates an agenda dictated by them. 
    Why is that a problem? Fox News has done that for years…
    Fox News, and other “news” channels like CNN, MSNBC, etc. are considered publishers and aren’t protected by Section 230 like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. 
    Sure. And what’s the problem with being protected by Section 230? They aren’t publishing anything. Only moderating. Big difference.
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