Al-Jazeera, 5/28/20: "Trump preparing order targeting social media protections"

Homepage | Forums | Main Forums | General Discussion | Al-Jazeera, 5/28/20: "Trump preparing order targeting social media protections"

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #320018
      closeupready
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,264

      US President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation.

      News of the order comes after Trump threatened to shut down websites he accused of stifling conservative voices following a dispute with Twitter after the company decided to tag Trump’s tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts. The president cannot unilaterally regulate or close the companies, which would require action by the US Congress or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

      The order, a draft copy of which was seen by Reuters news agency, could change before it is finalised. On Wednesday, officials said Trump will sign an executive order on social media companies on Thursday.

      https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/trump-issue-order-targeting-political-bias-social-media-200528124439805.html

      These social media forums are effectively public utilities, and users should be protected by the same First Amendment protections as any other public gathering place.

      Politics makes strange bedfellows, goes the expression.  Well, file this story there.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #320020
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,604

      For a tough guy he sure does whine a lot.   Not to mention the lies he’s being held accountable for.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

      • #320023
        closeupready
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,264

        @bazukhov  And as I’ve posted here many times, I’m seriously considering voting for a write-in candidate, even Mickey Mouse – not so much because I’m voting FOR someone, but more so that I am voting AGAINST the Uniparty which represents the interests of the 1% AT THE EXPENSE OF the 99%/me.

        My point being, if Mickey Mouse were on the ballot and supported student loan forgiveness, Medicare For All, etc., I don’t care that it’s a cartoon character; both Uniparty candidates are going to oppose any and all student loan forgiveness, favor health insurance companies/subsidies, pro-Citizens United, anti-food stamps, etc.

        The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

        • #320031
          bazukhov
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 2,604

          I got banned from DU for questioning Hillary…rather harshly.

          I never entertained the idea that DU didn’t have the right to question my analysis of her or that they should be forbidden from banning me.

          I’m not voting for Biden, I’m voting against Trump and all that he stands for because I find him to be the most disgusting president in my lifetime.

          In any case my vote won’t change the outcome in any way.   My state (Washington) will  most certainly go to Biden so my vote will essentially be unnoticed.

          Note:  I voted Green in the 3 previous elections and my candidates didn’t win.

          Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

          • #320149
            Voltairine
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,760

            This doesn’t cease to be true and correct, even now then Trump and Barr start saying what we have been saying for ages:

            When Twitter tags tweets as “misinformation”, they cease being a platform and effectively become “an editor with a viewpoint”. “What they chose to promote or ignore is nothing short of political activism,” Trump said. “This censorship is a threat to freedom itself – imagine if your phone company edited your text messages or blocked your phone calls.”

            AG Barr, who was also in attendance, said Section 230 “was stretched way beyond its original intention…its purpose was to allow websites that were acting virtually as bulletin boards were not responsible for third-party information…”. When they “curate” their collection and start “censoring” particular content, they become publishers, and they shouldn’t be entitled to the same kind of shield that was set up earlier. He also explained how the executive order sets up a “rule making procedure for the FCC” to try and “get back to the original interpretation” of Section 230.

            It also encourages state attorneys general to come up with “model” legislation addressing this at the state level.

            “Currently social media platforms like twitter enjoy a liability shield because they are a ‘neutral platform’ – which they are not…social media companies who engage in editing or censorship will be stripped of this shield, while companies will be punished should they engage in any “deceptive” acts. Federal agencies will also be barred from buying advertising on these platforms – a direct attack on their bottom line.
            https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/white-house-plans-empower-fcc-regulate-american-social-media-giants

            Aloha!

        • #320056
          mrdmk
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,692

          In this case, Trump is doing this for all of the wrong reasons. He is doing this for himself, not the public at large so I do not expect anything good to come out. In truth, Trump wants to stand on a soap box and say whatever comes to his mind with no responsibility what-so-ever. He has been doing this for years. Now he got called on it. Sucks to be Trump.

          How this started was Trump accusing a public figure of murder using Twitter. The victims husband wrote to Twitter saying, ‘This is not true… Can you delete the messages?’ That is a First Amendment Right. The next day Trump post a message on Twitter saying, ‘mail-in voting is wrought with voter fraud.’ Twitter leaves the posting as written with an added link (a flag). Trump does have the First Amendment Right to say, ‘mail-in voting is wrought with voter fraud.’ Twitter has the First Amendment Right to say we disagree with Trump. It is NOT a First Amendment Right for the President of the U.S. to tell a company what to do on their Website, end of story.

          If you do not like how Twitter is treating you as a user, go somewhere else. Last time I checked there were other options. More to the point, the public and leaders in the government made a stink of topics being posted on the Internet, namely on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and excreta. For the most part, you can make a Website of anything you want. One just needs to pay the annual $70 URL Fee. As far as posting sites go (including JPR), for the most part there are ‘Terms and Conditions’ as to how the private website is used. This is where people get things confused, the Internet is Public, the Website is Private.

          Last time I checked, Trump had an extra $70 to spend so he can go make his own version of Twitter. As far as Trump winning about his First Amendment Rights being violated, he does not know shit about the Constitution and I do not want him and his goons writing a shit law. As a matter of fact, Trump is so dumb he doesn’t know when to shut his big mouth. That is my First Amendment Right to say that even though the Subject is counter to the verb.

          In closing, careful what you wish for.

           


          @closeupready

          If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

        • #320167
          Cold Mountain Trail
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 8,440

          Twitter, as we are reminded so often, is a private company.  There are no free speech rights on any private internet platform, including this one.  We speak by the sufferance of the owners (I’m not complaining, the owners here are generous enough).

          And Trump is only interested in ‘free speech’ for himself, so he can push his own lies.

          I remind you that Discussionist started as a ‘free speech’ platform, and turned into a shit show, in which the biggest (and generally most right wing) bullies drowned out the rational & no real discussion was possible.

          • #320186
            Voltairine
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,760

            Owners of JPR, Discussionist etc. can’t be sued for what you or I publish on their platform, which means neutrality (within stated purpose and rules of the platform). If and when owners of platform start to editorialize their content and cease to be neutral platforms, they become publishers, which are liable for their content and can be sued for what you or I say under their editorial responsibility.

            Aloha!

    • #320042
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,440

      it’s like issuing an EO to stop print on a negative editorial.

      kinda fascist i believe

      • #320074
        closeupready
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,264

        If Twitter is going to edit user content, then they do have editorial control over user content, and are subject to laws which apply to publishers.  (As Saagar argues in the The Hill video.)

        If, OTOH, these social media companies want to be considered open forums for the public, then they need to be prohibited from censoring content, in the same way that the government is prohibited from censoring speech.i

        That’s not fascism.  That’s the rule of law.

        The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

        • #320152
          Voltairine
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,760

          This is what also left-libertarian progressives and all proponents of freedom of speech have been saying for ages. It’s not a partisan issue, it’s the corporate fascist elite trying to keep on manufacturing consent with blatant censorship of de facto public forums vs we the people.

          Aloha!

        • #320169
          Cold Mountain Trail
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 8,440

          Sorry, as the law stands now, I disagree.

          Newspapers also have editorial control.  They are open to the public (letters to the editor) but are under no obligation to publish every letter.  They can also edit the content of letters they decide to publish.  In their selection of letters to print, they are free to publish only those that support the political POV of ownership, or make opponents look like imbeciles.

          The owners own all such platforms.  Give me the case law if you disagree.  I don’t care about Saagar’s opinion.

          • #320240
            closeupready
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,264

            I guess that means we simply have to end it with agree-to-disagree?  I’m usually in agreement with you, but absolutely not on this one, I’m just not.

            Cheers.

            The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #320049
      xyzse
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,462

      Problem is, with Twitter doing what they did in Fact-Checking him, they got rid of a protection that Twitter has been using for a while.

      Which is them saying they are not Publishers but just a Forum, by Fact-Checking someone administratively like that, they have effectively exercised an Editorial role.

      Saagar breaks it down here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY8xnMXXlqI

      Well, I am curious as to the fall-out of this whole thing would be.  I tend to agree with what Saagar is saying here.

    • #320158
      ozoneman
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 300

      Twitter and other social media platforms have become editorial, not simply a bulletin board to post.

      Let freedom of speech prevail.

    • #320246
      Fasttense
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 670

      I’m sure Trump read them and agreed to them by continuing to tweet. If he didn’t like them he should go post on some obscure right wing platform nobody reads. If you don’t like your hate speech being blocked, go join the hate speech post site….most right wing platforms are filled with it.

      Trump is only looking out for Trump and doesn’t care about anyone’s free speech. He just wants revenge on Twitter’s owners because he is a big whiney baby.

      If Trump gave a crap about free speech, he wouldn’t be hunting down ever cartoon that shows him to be a despot or crazy religious cult leader.

      Trump campaign attempts to remove satirical cartoon from online retailer. https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/28/trump-campaign-attempts-to-remove-satirical-cartoon-from-online-retailer

      “In a statement, Anderson praised Redbubble for recognising the error, but said there were some “troubling issues” raised by the affair, including that the cartoon was removed less than 24 hours after he posted it, before he had received a single order

      “I doubt anyone had even seen it yet on the site,” he said. “This reveals that the Trump campaign has a system in place, trawling for material they find objectionable. If it happened to me so quickly, it likely has happened to others. How much other content has been removed this way on Redbubble and other sites?””

      No, he can’t hide behind free speech when he pays people to actively hunt down personally objectional material and force owners to abide by his whim. Is that a a person alive.in the US that doesn’t know satire is protected free speech? Trump knows, he just doesn’t care….unless he wants revenge against a corporation .

    • #320257
      ronRonnie1
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 325

      Social media is not liable for the content on their platforms so long as they stay neutral.  Once they start being defacto editors, they become liable for what they publish.  Kinda like how CNN and NYTimes are always getting sued for libel.

      • #320273
        Cold Mountain Trail
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 8,440

        In the United States, however, pursuing an ISP or a website is not a legitimate legal option for a plaintiff making a defamation claim. In 1995, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act, which protects ISPs, social media platforms and website hosts from defamation claims.

        Plaintiffs who believe they have been defamed online should bring a claim against the person or entity that actually made the defamatory statement. In doing so, the plaintiff will have to file suit in an appropriate state court. The appropriate state court should be determined after a jurisdictional analysis is conducted by an attorney.

        https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/defamation-and-social-media–what-you-need-to-know.html

         

        Libel is a category of defamation.

        If the law has changed, please post the evidence.

        The only person whose ‘free speech’ Trump values is his own.

         

        The argument some on this thread are making is straight from Trump.    https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-preventing-online-censorship/

        The only freedom Trump supports is his own freedom to lie & flout the rule of law and the Constitution.  Fuck him, I would cheer if he dropped dead while tweeting.  He’s an narcissistic, ugly, fat ass whose inside is even uglier, with no redeeming qualities & he’s done nothing but hurt people since he was elected.  Does he want to protect my freedom of speech, or yours?  Hell no, just his own lies and race-baiting and his pitiful baby ego.
        He wants someone to ban him so he can stoke up his supporters by crying about how his rights have been violated by the evil media.  And his followers are so stupid they’ll be all in, they do whatever he orders like the sheep they are already, as they babble about how other people are sheep.  Must be interesting to be a footsoldier in service of fascism, poverty, and death.  While yelling about freedom.
        • #320412
          Voltairine
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,760

          We’ve been saying that for ages, Trump is very late to join the bandwagon.

          Cf
          We: TTIP is bad.
          Trump: TTIP is bad
          You: TTIP is good because Trump says it’s bad. Fuck we for Trump worship.

          Aloha!

          • #320458
            closeupready
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,264

            😀  Succinct, to the point, on point.

            The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

        • #320466
          ronRonnie1
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 325

          Thank you.  Next.

        • #320504
          Voltairine
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,760

          is the cornerstone of Internet Freedom of Speech. What it means, in plain language, is that Internet Service Providers are similar to e.g. postal office, not liable for the content of the mail they deliver.

          Congress and Trump administration have already weakened the 230 protections, and Trump, like Biden, wants it gone. Fuck them both.

          The immediate issue is the Big Tech monopolies/oligopolies abuse of Section 230, instead of remaining neutral providers of technical service (“platform”) they have started to editorialize content in the manner of publisher with strong political bias, namely ruling class bias against populism left and right as well as any and all alternative views that elites don’t like. As far as the Executive Order – new guideline for interpretation of Section 230 – only aims to remove platform status from Big Tech abusers of Section 230, threatening to hit them hard where it hurts most, their wallets, it’s what we have wanted. Either to hurt them financially so bad that they go out of business or return to the role of neutral platform.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act

          Aloha!

          • #320570
            closeupready
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,264

            @voltairine – you nailed it brilliantly there.

            The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

          • #320576
            Cold Mountain Trail
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 8,440

            I’ll first note that the content before your link is your own opinion, not a quote from the link and not a summary of the link.

            I’ll second note that I read the entire article, and your posted opinion, followed by the wikipedia link, has nothing to do with what’s actually in the article.

            Your summary is about what some actors, mostly folks on the right, would like to happen.

            You’re also confused about what ‘publisher’ means in this context.

             

             

            From the wikipedia article at Voltarine’s link:

            “Cox and…Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote the House bill’s section 509, titled the Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Actso that service providers could moderate content as necessary and did not have to act as a wholly neutral conduit...Cox/Wyden’s section was codified as Section 230 in Title 47 of the US Code…

             

            “Publisher or speaker” cases

            ……around 2008 started to find cases where providerswere liable for user content due to being a “publisher or speaker” related to that content under §230(c)(1).…  Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com, LLC… services of Roommates.com…match renters based on profiles…on their website…generated by a mandatory questionaire…with… information about… gender and race…

            The Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley stated this… violated the Fair Housing Act, and asserted that Roommates.com was liable… In 2008, the Ninth Circuit…ruled against Roommates.com, agreeing that its required profile system made it a information content provider… ineligible to receive the protections of §230(c)(1)…Roommates.com was considered to be the most significant deviation from Zeran in how Section 230 was handled in case law…

            (My note:  Ineligible because: it ‘created’ (wrote) the content via its mandatory questionaire, with the gender/race boxes, therefore in violation of the Fair Housing Act)

            …Ted Cruz (R)…argued section 230 should only apply to providers that are politically “neutral” Section 230 does not contain any requirements that moderation decisions be neutral….

            Legal experts have criticized the Republicans’ push to make Section 230 encompass platform neutrality.   Wyden stated… “Section 230 is not about neutrality…(it) is all about letting private companies make their own decisions to leave up some content and take other content down.”  Kosseff has stated that the Republican intentions are based on “fundamental misunderstanding” of Section 230’s purpose, as platform neutrality was not one of the considerations made at the time of passage… Kosseff stated that political neutrality was not the intent of Section 230 according to the framers, but rather making sure providers had the ability to make content-removal judgement without fear of liability…

            Attempts to bring damages to tech companies for apparent anti-conservative bias in courts, arguing against Section 230 protections, have generally failed.   A lawsuit brought by…Freedom’s Watch in 2018 against Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple on antitrust violations for using their positions to create anti-conservative censorship was dismissed ruling that censorship can only apply to First Amendment rights blocked by the government and not by private entities.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act

             

            Defamation (My Summary)

            (1997) Zeran v. AOL: immunity upheld for AOL

            (1998) Blumenthal v. Drudge:  immunity upheld for AOL, “AOL’s agreement with the contractor allowing AOL to modify or remove content did not make AOL the “information content provider” because the content was created by an independent contractor”

            2003: Carafano v. Metrosplash.com: immunity upheld for Metrosplash

            2003: Batzel v. Smith:  immunity upheld for website operator

            2003: Green v. AOL:  immunity upheld for AOL

            2006: Barrett v. Rosenthal: immunity upheld for individual internet user.  “The court found the defendant to be a “user of interactive computer services” (note: one of the categories in the law) and thus immune from liability for posting information passed to her by the author”

            2004: MCW, Inc. v. badbusinessbureau.com:  Rejected immunity for defendant.  “The defendants (themselves) wrote disparaging report titles…disparaging editorial messages about the plaintiff, rendered them information content providers”

            (NOTE:  immunity denied because defendants wrote the defamatory content themselves.)

            2005: Hy Cite Corp. v. badbusinessbureau.com: Rejected immunity for defendant, same grounds as above.

            2009: Barnes v. Yahoo!, Inc:  Rejected immunity.  Yahoo promised plantiff to remove a nude photo and didn’t.  The promise to remove the photo made them a ‘publisher or speaker’ under 230.  Had they not made the promise, they would have been immune.

             

            Terrorism

            2019: Force v. Facebook: upheld immunity Facebook over terrorism-related content provided by users.

            Threats

            2007: Delfino v. Agilent Technologies: upheld immunity for employer when employee used work email to send threats.

             

            In short, there is currently no law defining ‘publisher’ the way some here are doing.  Y’all are talking about ideas that have been bandied about, but are not current law.  People’s opinions are pretty irrelevant to actual law.

            The cases in which a platform is held liable are very few, and limited to those in which the platform literally wrote the content.

            By this standard, Twitter can delete Trump’s posts for TOS violations, it can ‘editorialize’ or ‘fact check’ — and unless its fact check is false/defamatory, they have immunity.  At this time.

            We’ll see what happens following Trump’s little hissy-fit — which ain’t about free speech.

             

             

    • #320283
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,440
      • #320436
        mrdmk
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,692

        Below is a screen capture, Twitter removed the posting.

        Below is from a 1967 press briefing in Florida from a police chief. In historical hindsight, after this briefing, the riots increased and many people were dead.

        If you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit WC Fields

    • #320578
      game meat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,216

      It seems they’ve been enjoying the best of both worlds. They get to enjoy the legal benefits of being a neutral source of content while also policing their content as they see fit. It seems like this will make them have to choose if they want to operate more like the post office or like a newspaper. So far, so good, but…

      The devil is in the details. One potential issue is whether or not they surrender their neutral status by removing illegal content not protected by the first amendment (think pedophiles and death threats). If they do, who will be in charge of doing so and what will the process look like? That stuff won’t stand one way or the other.

      Depending on the details, they may be better off embracing the role of editor if that winds up being less problematic. Operating under the constant threat of lawsuits will lead to more censorship, far worse than how they have been operating up until now.

      So, idk, in the interest of free speech I’d like to see them be treated as a public utility without the ability to be thought police, but it depends on what the reality of the alternative looks like.

Viewing 8 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.