May 28, 2020

"We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this. I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth..."

"... of everything that people say online. Private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that."

Said Mark Zuckerberg, quoted at Fox News. Links to Fox News never seem to work, so I apologize in advance for this bad link. Why does Fox News not play well with social media?

Anyway... I'm glad to hear that from Zuckerberg. I love Zuckerberg's self-effacing term "these platform companies." I have long argued that these platform companies should uphold the free speech values that the law requires government to uphold. (Here's my 2011 argument with Bob Wright on the subject.)

Meanwhile, Trump is choosing the worst way to fight for freedom of speech — governmental suppression: "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen." That's a tweet, quoted at CNN. From the CNN article:
He's expected to sign an executive order pertaining to social media Thursday, but it is still unclear what the substance of the order may contain.... The White House did not consult the Federal Communications Commission on the forthcoming executive order, according to a person briefed on the matter. The pending executive order was hastily conceived at the last minute, the person said.... Because the FCC was not informed, it suggests the draft order has not gone through the typical interagency review process, implying that the Justice Department and FTC may have been caught off-guard as well....

Trump's Twitter outburst followed an unprecedented decision by the platform on Tuesday evening to apply a fact-checking label to Trump's content for the first time.... Shortly after the labels were applied, Trump took to Twitter to claim the company "is interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election" and "stifling FREE SPEECH." He added that he "will not allow it to happen!"...

David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former top FTC consumer protection official, said any government push to restrict how private platforms moderate their websites could raise First Amendment questions. "This is just another example of Trump thinking that the Constitution makes him a king, but it doesn't," he said.
It would be a gruesome free-speech collision. Much better for the companies to embrace free-speech values on their own, which is why I'm highlighting Zuckerberg and praising him.

But I can see that Twitter feels much more pressure than Facebook, because Trump's clout is huge on Twitter, and people who don't like that are exerting immense pressure.

Here's a column by Charlie Warzel at the NYT: "What Would Happen if Twitter Banned Trump?/Social media and journalists alike amplify the president’s lies and propaganda."
I don’t really think it’s possible to “deplatform” the president of the United States — that is, ban him from social media sites to decrease his public reach. If Twitter were to go nuclear it would set off a censorship debate so fierce that the issue would end up in Congress or the courts. It would also place the company in the role where it feels most uncomfortable: acting as an arbiter of truth....

Banning Mr. Trump from Twitter, just like fact-checking one or two of his lying tweets, might feel good and might make the platform feel less toxic for a while. But it’s still just tinkering on the margins. It won’t fix the deeper structural problems that have created our information apocalypse. For that, we’re going to need a far bigger reckoning — one that certainly includes but also goes well beyond the platforms.
That's where the column ends, with a prediction of an "apocalypse," a "reckoning." Why so hysterical?

Strangely, the eerily robotic Zuckerberg is our heartening, calming presence.

96 comments:

Temujin said...

Maybe Zuckerberg can answer the question of why Facebook bans Prager U?

And..can this 'platform' idiocy. These are publishers. Need to clean that up.

MayBee said...

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is feeling pretty apocolyptic, and it isn't Trump supporters doing it. Let's see if the press gives them have the criticism Michigan protestors got.

sykes.1 said...

The public media, like Facebook and Twitter, should be regulated as public utilities, like electric and telephone companies. Public utilities must accept any and all customers and cannot deny service to any customers is is paid up. Nor can they censor communications.

Michael K said...

However, never mention anything negative about Muslims or transgenders (including a mention of the ugly ones) on Facebook. It will get you warned or suspended.

narciso said...

The twitter safety council, the chinese data scrubbers how long do you want to wait.

Rob said...

The Washington Post reports that the Executive Order will, among other things, “task the Commerce Department with petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to open a proceeding on Section 230.” Since the FCC is an independent agency, it seems that any effort to obtain prior interagency review of the Order by the FCC would have been inappropriate. CNN is as usual full of beans.

tim maguire said...

Of course Twitter is playing politics, interfering with public debate. They want the advantages of being a public utility, they need to live with the disadvantages. Free speech is much more than just the first amendment.

But it should be obvious to any thinking person that Trump does not have the authority he says he wants to exercise. (What will really be in that executive order? Anything?) This may be one of those cases where he's embarrassingly outrageous out of the gate but winds up winning in the end because his opponents are now helping him make his arguments. Still, he is president and the president shouldn't be talking about using the government to silence views he doesn't like even if he has no intention of actually doing it.

Obama used to brag about auditing his critics and most of the media ignored it. Obama and the media were wrong then. Trump is wrong now (and the media are, as usual, hypocrites).

Fritz said...

I've seen the Fox News problem myself. But if you just highlight the "bad link" in the address bar and click, the page comes up. There's probably a better work around, but I don't know it.

Jess said...

Twitter practices a special type of tyranny. Trump can unleash the government on Twitter executives, which is a different type of tyranny. Both may end up being wrong, but Twitter fired the first shot.

JackWayne said...

Twitter gets clicks from controversy. And they are trying to eliminate controversy. That business model will fail. Trump jumps to Gab and puts a huge hole in Twitter’s value. I think even silly Jack will see he needs to change his behavior.

MayBee said...

Zuckerberg is right and I hope he has the strength not to bow to the pressure he is going to get. Jack Dorsey didn't have that strength. I think Zuckerberg is an old fashioned liberal, and I admire that.

Inga said...

So Trump in a fit of anger, threatens to do to Twitter what he says they are doing to him, censoring him. What insane reasoning makes this childlike President think that he’s not playing with fire? He wants free reign/rein to libel, yet he’s been known to advocate for stronger libel laws? This man speaks out of both sides of his mouth, even in the same sentence.

Mark said...

Twitter should sue the instant this comes out, and at the same time freeze his account.

Let him keep railing about Joe Scarborough elsewhere. If those two idiots want to feud, no need to host that pig wrestling match.

The fact that Trump will stoop to Scarborough's level does not say a lot for the office Donny holds. Used to be that you did not dignify people like Joe with a response, but as Trump lacks impulse control much like those suffering from dementia ... that's what we got.

rehajm said...

The White House did not consult the Federal Communications Commission on the forthcoming executive order, according to a person briefed on the matter. The pending executive order was hastily conceived at the last minute, the person said.... Because the FCC was not informed, it suggests the draft order has not gone through the typical interagency review process, implying that the Justice Department and FTC may have been caught off-guard as well

What a pant load of deception. Sources say..., 'briefed' on the matter...blech. The President doesn't need permission from any of those places to draft an executive order.

Of course the order will likely be language notifying those agencies about the President's concerns and a request for those agencies to take action. A public declaration so they won't be caught 'off guard'...

...but 'people' briefed on the matter are too stupid to recognize the distinction.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ralph L said...

It won’t fix the deeper structural problems

AKA speech NYT doesn't like.

LuAnn Zieman said...

The point is that Twitter and Facebook and other like platforms have a special immunity not afforded regular publishers. They are free from liability and suit. If they are going to editorialize and act like other publishers, they should lose that immunity. Twitter was reprimanded by the FCC for fact-checking the President. Zuckerberg is trying to get out ahead of this.

Jersey Fled said...

I heard an interview with Zuckerberg on Hugh Hewitt a few days ago, and I have to admit, I was impressed. He is a very bright guy and seems to have a broader grasp of big issues than I expected. He was very thoughtful, often pausing for a few seconds before answering.

I don't know how long it will last, but right now, I have a new respect for him.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Mike K nails the slight of hand with publisher/platform. Big Tech relies on Section 230 to shield them from actually taking responsibility for what people “say” on their “platforms” yet they claim a “responsibility” to police “facts” they dispute. So there is an inherent tension between them acting as open source publishers who practice viewpoint discrimination and them refusing to police threatening and false statements from their “allies” like Antifa, the Chinese Communist Party, and international organizations. So acting as a censor for the New World Order is actually their business model: Let progressives call Trump a NAZI and lie about him all day long as “opinion” but restrict Trump’s speech as a “fact in dispute” as a way of limiting his free speech. Keep acting like a tyrant Jack Dorsey and you’ll find Big Govt ain’t your friend after all. Let’s sue all the Twitter trolls after taking away their 203 fig leaf.

Fernandinande said...

Links to Fox News never seem to work
Works on a real computer, but didn't work on a tablet.

Dunno why Zuckerberg said they're not censoring, because they are:

As coronavirus misinformation spreads on social media, Facebook removes posts

Facebook itself says "1. Ensuring everyone has access to accurate information and removing harmful content"

Elsewhere I saw that "harmful content" was partially defined as "different than what W.H.O. says".

wendybar said...

COMPLETE BULLSHIT. I can show you three different PATRIOTIC FB things, such as a woman from the Navy who sang Hallelujah and different Veterans were shown on screen, and FB covered it up saying it may contain violent or graphic material. 3 different times yesterday, and all of them pro military, not violent, not political, and not offensive. Yet....you can still see Kathy Griffin holding up Trumps bloody head. Total lies from Zuckerberg.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I should have said Temujin not Doc Mike. Oops.

rehajm said...

Twitter should sue the instant this comes out

We don't know what this will be. CNN propaganda has invented and spun the deception and you fell for it...

Churchy LaFemme: said...

I've visited Fox several times lately looking for Tucker Carlson monologues. For their most popular guy, they make him very hard to find. It's 2020, web guys should be able to do this stuff in their sleep..

narciso said...

The previous ringer at the fcc was mark lloyd a supporter of chavez policy of stifling private media, to save the revolution

Temujin said...

IF Zuckerberg is an old fashioned Liberal (whatever that means) he should not be in the business of censoring information that is not hurtful or harmful, though it may not be in line with what his employed censors think. Such as Prager U- which is, if you've ever watched one of their 5 minute videos, about as harmless as watching a cliff's notes lecture on the economy or politics- from a perspective of individual rights. Not sure when that became problematic for minds in this country.

To me 'old fashioned liberal' refers to Classical Liberalism, which is certainly not the Pelosi style of Liberalism. Mises. To others, classical liberalism might simply be a nod to yesteryear. Bill Clinton. heh.

Michael K said...

Where's Freder? Inga has already got the stupid level up but needs help.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Interesting data point: Insty uses the same Fox link, and it works from his site. That suggests somehow that coming from blogger is the problem, although I don't see how that could be. Some sort of referrer problem?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Inga and Mark can’t appreciate the irony of the media as one claiming Trump is hyping a “conspiracy theory” after three fucking years of wall-to-wall Russia Hysteria from the same exact “news” people! Color me surprised. Trump is best at making y’all squeal and keep dancing to his tune. Or for cat people, Trump points the laser and the progs jump as if they have been commanded to.

Big Mike said...

Meanwhile, Trump is choosing the worst way to fight for freedom of speech — governmental suppression: "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

@Althouse, sometimes I think your brain must have three times the density of lead. Answering Inga the dolt, once the firms censor content then they effectively become content providers and are themselves subject to control. So how do they like it? Not so much, apparently.

tim maguire said...

Mark said...
Twitter should sue the instant this comes out, and at the same time freeze his account.


Twitter needs Trump more than Trump needs Twitter.

Fernandinande said...

Facebook and YouTube are rushing to delete “Plandemic,” a conspiracy-laden video

"On Thursday, Facebook told reporters that the documentary violated its policies by promoting the potentially harmful claim that wearing a mask can make you ill."

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

It’s just so obvious to non-Progressives. Misdirection is a Trump specialty. His goal with the intern tweets was not to get Joe to confess or FLA to open a new investigation. It was to provoke the Media. Likewise the Twitter EO may not be what you lefties assume it is. Ask yourself who he is trying to provoke and why. Cmon. You don’t want to be continually fooled another four years do you!

roesch/voltaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd said...

Just in the first paragraph:

He's expected ... but it is still unclear what ... the order may contain....

The White House did not consult the Federal Communications Commission ... according to a person briefed on the matter.

The ... order was hastily conceived at the last minute, the person said....

Because the FCC was not informed, it suggests ... implying ... may have been caught off-guard as well....


Boy thems is so much FACT in there! No ambiguity at ALL! Let us not overlook all those ROCK SOLID sources!

At least the second paragraph noted that this move by twitter was "an unprecedented decision by the platform".

Damn how the media has turned to shit.

This sentence is a real hoot though:

"This is just another example of Trump thinking that the Constitution makes him a king, but it doesn't," he said.

Remind me again how many of Trump's actions have been overturned by SCOTUS? Compare and contrast to the lightbringer's record...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The biggest problem with these "companies" trying to police TRUTH and fact check statements.....is that having an opinion is not something that can be check for facts or for truth.

An opinion is just that. Opinion. You can disagree with my opinion but you cannot say whether it is fact.

My opinion is that Brussels Sprouts are horrible little acid acrid acetone tasting gas inducing bombs. Debate me. But that is MY truth, MY fact, and you can't censor me for having an opinion.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

As he can, James Taranto succinctly shows the folly of this "we be the truth squad" policy at Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jamestaranto/status/1265433556781801474

"Hmm no fact check so this must be true"

Sebastian said...

"choosing the worst way to fight for freedom of speech — governmental suppression"

Obviously, we are dealing with symbolic politics here: two can play this game.

But question: governmental suppression of what? If I get the picture right, Trump is threatening to stifle "platforms" that suppress and censor speech. Suppressing suppression can help free speech, no?

I don't think his way can and should fly, but I read it as another Trumpian move to bait his opponents to come out as free speech absolutists or hypocrites: either they say free speech is sacred and should never etc., in which case Twitter is wrong, or they say that censorship is wrong except when Twitter does it against Trump.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Section 230 of the CDA sez No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider
This is crazy. It means that if FB publishes libel about me, I can't do anything about it, even if they refuse to publish libel about anyone else. They get to have it both ways, they are not legally responsible for what they publish (it is the responsibility of the person who posts the libel), yet they are free to exercise complete editorial control over what is published.

chuck said...

Facebook fact checks comments on climate science. The fact check nonsense is political, but I suspect the companies doing it aren't smart enough to know that.

Freder Frederson said...

Meanwhile, Minneapolis is feeling pretty apocolyptic, and it isn't Trump supporters doing it. Let's see if the press gives them have the criticism Michigan protestors got.

Compare the reaction of the police in Michigan to heavily armed protesters who trespassed on the grounds of the governor's mansion to how they reacted in Minnesota. There was no riot gear evident in Michigan. In Minnesota, the police showed up in full riot gear and supplied with tear gas--against unarmed protesters.

MayBee said...

Mark said..
One side is protesting the killing of a man by police, the other protesting the inability to get a haircut (and to decry masks worn for safety whole carrying guns .... get this, for 'safety').

Both are protesting a government with disregard for the rights of the citizens. When citizens are nothing but pawns of the government, it is easier to commit actions that kill them when they are inconvenient.

One side was protesting. One side was setting fire to buildings and looting stores.

Lewis Wetzel said...

If they are a publisher (and they are), then if an FB or twitter user posts something like "my boyfiend, John Olson of 2553 elm street, birth date November 7, 1989, cheated on me and gave me aids" they can be sued for libel (providing it is not true). The CDA section 320 carves out an exception for internet service providers. They can exercise complete editorial control and still not be held responsible for what they publish. It is impossible for FB or twitter to moderate their billions of users in realtime and make money.
But they can't become a simple, unedited BBS because then would be like an unmoderated Usenet group: a vile cesspool of pornography and spam.

Darkisland said...

We are currently under a "national State of Emergency". That gives the president some pretty broad powers to do things he might not otherwise be able to do.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-declaring-national-emergency-concerning-novel-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak/

Wikipedia says that the National emergency gives the president 136 additional special powers though it does not list them

OMG! Pdjtis going to use thes powers to be just like Hitler! Starting with shutting down a free press (Twitter)

That does it, I'm voting for Biden's electors in November.

John Henry

deepelemblues said...

It boggles the mind how the government fulfilling its purpose, which is to safeguard our liberty, is the worst way to go about safeguarding our liberty.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube function as public forums, and censorious control freaks are going to have to live with the ramifications of that.

mandrewa said...

We cannot rely on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to self-regulate themselves, since they clearly haven't.

I wonder if the right approach might be to focus on the difference between being a publisher and a platform.

If YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook were liable for their content then within a matter of years, and probably months, they would have to shutdown since it would simply be too risky to allow individuals to post on their sites. This should be obvious and therefore the threat of losing their status as a platform should be potent.

So if we could set a standard for what is legitimate speech and what is not, then documented violations of free speech by "public square" providers could, over a certain level, trigger the official removal of platform status. And likewise not violating free speech over a certain length of time, should trigger reinstating platform status with all its legal protection.

The problem is that there are certain users and certain content that maybe we really should be removing. How do we draw the line between what is acceptable speech and what is not?

The left will of course interpret that to mean banning all speech that is not left-wing.

Breezy said...

Maybe Trump should simply not post for 1 week, and see how all the media types howl. They fill lots of air time from that source...its their bread and butter.

roesch/voltaire said...

At this point most folks realize that Trump tweets are full of lies and propaganda and Twitter followers pile in with corrections so I don’t think Twitter needs to post warnings about the bullshit he posts.

MikeR said...

Didn't the courts already decide that Trump can't block losers from commenting on his tweets? Doesn't that mean it must be a public forum or something? Honest question.

Ray - SoCal said...

Trump was baiting Twitter with the Scarborough Intern Tweet, and Twitter took the bait.

Darkisland said...

This whole megillah is about something thst is factually true.

Widescale mail voting doe increase opportunities for fraud. Is there anyone in the world that denies that?

The only question is whether it increases by a lot(pdjt & others) or a little bit (Twitter et al)

I think this whole thing is ginned up as a brush back pitch to Twitter.

Nothing big will come ofthis.

Unless pdjt leaves Twitter for gab, mastodon etc.

Or in addition to Twitter.

John Henry

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Who knew the Progressives Against Regulation brigade was so yuuge!

Gahrie said...

Why does Fox News not play well with social media?

Isn't it more likely that social media is handicapping Fox news?

Mark said...

"Let’s sue all the Twitter trolls after taking away their 203 fig leaf"

I am pretty sure that same fig leaf protects trolls here from being sued.

A broad removal of this is going to affect Blogger too.

Gahrie said...

David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former top FTC consumer protection official, said any government push to restrict how private platforms moderate their websites could raise First Amendment questions. "This is just another example of Trump thinking that the Constitution makes him a king, but it doesn't," he said. It would be a gruesome free-speech collision. Much better for the companies to embrace free-speech values on their own, which is why I'm highlighting Zuckerberg and praising him.

Where was this guy when the Democrats were pushing "net neutrality"? Does he oppose governmental regulations on what can be shown on TV or said on the radio?

narciso said...


Theres more of this


https://mobile.twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1265906786541830144

rhhardin said...

I don't see the problem. If they're censoring content, then they're puhlishers, and can be sued for what's on their platform (protection from libel doesn't apply), and all sorts of people will then sue them, not particularly Trump or the government.

They're making themselves publishers; Trump isn't doing it.

gerry said...

What rhhardin said. If a "platform" edits a post, it is no longer a "forum". It becomes a publisher.

Fernandinande said...

"Links to Fox News never seem to work"
Works on a real computer, but didn't work on a tablet.


Well, the link works with firefox but not with vivaldi.

Francisco D said...

Dust Bunny Queen said... The biggest problem with these "companies" trying to police TRUTH and fact check statements.....is that having an opinion is not something that can be check for facts or for truth.

That is because certain opinions can not and will not be tolerated.

Fernandinande said...

The link works with vivaldi if you "copy link address" then paste it; after doing that, but not before, just clicking the link also works. Weird.

Bob Boyd said...

"We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this. We do it on the sly." - Mok Zukabug

mandrewa said...

MikeR said, "Didn't the courts already decide that Trump can't block losers from commenting on his tweets? Doesn't that mean it must be a public forum or something?"

Yes. The courts have already effectively ruled that these platforms are public squares. There is no other reasonable, rational, logically consistent interpretation of that ruling.

But we all know that for left-wing judges it's a one-way door.

buwaya said...

The Warzel NYT piece is an illustration of the fact that your fundamental problem is a conflict between powerful peoples. This Warzel piece has the implicit assumption of agreement, that is, that he is speaking only to his own tribe, which is all that matters. Thats what happens when your concept of your tribe is limited to your own faction.

You are two peoples now, and it is unhealthy to continue pretending otherwise. Once there are openly two then the conflict becomes cleaner, misdirection and deceit and pretence become less effective, and, more hopefully, explicit negotiation and compromise become possible - that is, territories can be split, interests can be identified and traded off.

Everything else here is tactical detail.

Michael K said...

In Minnesota, the police showed up in full riot gear and supplied with tear gas--against unarmed protesters.

Including the "unarmed protestor" who shot the guy in front of the pawn shop.

Well done, Freder,.

buwaya said...

In a state of war laws do not apply, and private property can be seized for use by the combatants, including of course strategic assets like communications infrastructure.

Bruce Hayden said...

I see this as battlefield prep. Maybe some initial skirmishing. One of Trump’s biggest advantages is that he is better using Twitter, by far, than his opponent is going to be. And, his son in law’s use of Facebook in 2016 may have swung the election. The people running and staffing these companies really don’t want to see a repeat in 2020. But stockholders won’t stand for loss of §230 immunity, because that would ultimately result in a major profits hit, being sued whenever one poster is defamed by someone on their platform. They have tried to do as much as they can under the radar, by, for example, shadow banning and deplatforming political opponents. I think that they have realized that that isn’t nearly enough to prevent Trump’s re-election. So the fake fact checking by Twitter, with more rabidly partisan people at the top, was a feint to see what they can get away with this fall. I see them as temporarily withdrawing, while they figure their next plan of attack. So, Trump has to react strongly to swat them back lest they see this as a viable line of future attack.

Drago said...

gerry: "What rhhardin said. If a "platform" edits a post, it is no longer a "forum". It becomes a publisher."

Shhhh!

It really is just that simple...but now we have the Lefty Moron Brigade like Inga and Freder and r/v out in force doing what they do.

Ask Freder how many Dept stores were looted and police stations attacked in the MI open up rally and, even funnier, it is now confirmed that Inga and r/v and the rest of the Russia Collusion Truthers really are going to press ahead with their strategy of pretending the previous 4+ years never happened at all.

This should be fun.

Bob Boyd said...

"They're making themselves publishers"

Right. I think the problem is they're trying to have it both ways.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Mark if Althouse disallowed posts she didn’t agree with then these comments might qualify under your twisted interpretation. But her blog is the attraction. Twitter is different in that individuals ARE the content. So censoring some individuals is an editor’s choice there. And I f you’re editing you’re publishing. Publishers are open to libel. Especially publishers in bed with Chinese communists like Twitter is. They chose poorly.

Mary Beth said...

There are people who push social media to fact-check because they don't like that their parents or grandparents watch FOX News and share conservative memes. If they think their family is stupid and needs to be protected by a corporation, maybe their time would be better spent reflecting on the role genetics plays upon inherited intelligence.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

Vladeck is one of those classic liberal fascists of the Naderian stripe. Based on his history, he is one of those people who thinks that being an FTC Commissar made him king and he abused his powers to hound and punish companies Progs don't like.

Vladeck's intemperate statement is par for the course for scum like him. And of course, he's the "expert" that the Times rolls out for their biased reporting.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I'm not a lawyer, but I was on the Internet before it was the Internet and I closely followed the censorship debates. Social media companies, like ISPs get a pass on being sued for things like libel because they are considered common carriers, like a phone company. They are not supposed to exercise editorial control over content because they are not publishers. However, they clearly are exercising editorial control over the content being published, allowing some to remain while banning or removing other content. So, why aren't they treated as publishers? Publishers have free reign to control what is and is not published on their platform, but they are also legally liable for content that is published on their platform. The government is currently letting social media platforms have it both ways. And they are doing so because the leftist that controlled the government liked that what was getting banned, Zuckerburg is smart enough to see that that may not last.

Mary Beth said...

The weird way that FOX News links don't work without a tweak makes me think they have some sort of defense against DOS attacks through link clicks.

Drago said...

Freder appears to be very upset that police in Minnesota showed up to a riot in riot gear while police in Michigan showed up at a non-riot in regular gear.

Freder is amusing in that way.

Drago said...

Meanwhile, more Inga-like lies from the New York Times exposed:


Zac Bissonnette twitter:
So remember in April when The NY Times Magazine ran a cover story that was the diary of an ER doctor in NYC—and the piece reported on the death of a 26 year old doctor?

Well, it turns out the doctor didn’t die—or even have covid. https://t.co/3p1iTxZGTm

Not to worry though! The NYT made this small "correction" in a short Editors Correction that will be seen by almost no one after splashing the original lies on the front page and around the globe.

Looks like twitter wants to play publisher with the Big Propagandists.....so lets go with that.

Gahrie said...

Mark if Althouse disallowed posts she didn’t agree with

What do you mean by if?

Christopher said...

I heard an interview with Zuckerberg on Hugh Hewitt a few days ago, and I have to admit, I was impressed. He is a very bright guy and seems to have a broader grasp of big issues than I expected. He was very thoughtful, often pausing for a few seconds before answering.

I don't know how long it will last, but right now, I have a new respect for him.


It is not lasting now. Zuck is great at pretty words but discriminates against Christian and conservative content constantly.

Drago said...

In more Non-Freder-Friendly Factual Reporting, the supposedly "mostly peaceful" non-rioter rioters in Minnesota also decided to smash storefronts and charter school locations.

Meanwhile, the open up protesters in Michigan said unfriendly things about their idiot governor.

So, you know, in Freder-World its all "same same"....

Bill AKA motorave said...

If the www. is removed from Fox News Channel links they work for me every timein Opera.

Bill AKA motorave said...

If the www. is removed from Fox News Channel links they work for me every timein Opera.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

“Viewpoint discrimination” is the key phrase Gahrie. Are you asserting that Althouse censors views she disagrees with? Or does she ban actors who violate repeated warnings? There’s a big diff.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Demonetization on YouTube is another big issue but I am kind of on YouTube's side there.

YT is an advertising company. It goes to Acme and offers to run their ads on videos for money. It then splits that money with the content creators.

If there is one thing that most big advertisers hate it is controversy. If a GM ad runs on a video that seems to support PDJT (or Obama) they piss off half the country.

Advertisers are cowards by nature. As they probably should be. They will not run an ad on Tim Pool, for example, because he gets people riled up.

So Tim Pool gets demonetized. Is that YT's fault? Or the advertisers?

Seems to me the advertisers. And how do you tell advertisers "You must associate your brand with a message you don't believe in."

John Henry

PatHMV said...

Professor, you have to remember that, just because President Trump calls for government regulation of these platforms doesn't mean he actually wants government regulation of them. By calling for that, he forces his opponents to commit to how terrible government regulation of speech platforms would be. That's important, because so many on the left practice deplatforming to control and intimidate others who want to speak "dangerous" thoughts. With Trump calling for government regulation of the platforms, the Trump-haters will reflexively say that government should never regulate those platforms. And then they'll be on record when they say the opposite when one day a Democrat gets elected President again.

PatHMV said...

I guarantee that just about every person up in arms about Trump's tweet on this issue also would express support for reestablishment of the "fairness doctrine" that used to govern the expression of opinion over radio and television broadcasts. They just don't like having that control used against them to protect opinions they don't like.

stevew said...

Fauci's commentary about his friend Kramer likely applies to Trump's commentary about Twitter and censorship: "He was iconoclastic, he was theatrical — he wanted to make his point.”.

Mark said...

"Mark if Althouse disallowed posts she didn’t agree with"

Are you new here?

There are a few people whose comments she deletes out of hand, but there have been episodes with heavy moderation to put it politely.

Gahrie clearly remembers.

mikee said...

One can be either a publisher, selecting what you present to the public, and having responsibility for the things you publish, or one can be a platform where all speech is presented without interference. Facebook wants to keep doing both, enjoying the freedom from lawsuits of a platform, while censoring whatever it wants, like a publisher.

What can't go on, won't. All these platforms that are acting as censors, i.e., as publishers, are gonna end up being publishers under law. With all the joy of being continuously sued for their censorship. Or they'll be platforms, and stop their nefarious censorship. I'm betting they want to keep the censorship power more than they want the freedom from liability.

Marshall Rose said...

Section 230, platform vs publisher...

Take Althouse comment section...

Does her censorship of comments constitute a publisher's role over what is allowed to be viewed?

Does this filtering of content equate to an endorsement of those comments?

Is she liable for slander that is contained within?

If she is to be shielded from repercussions of her commentors?

Is she still free to remove ANY comments at all?

Michael K said...

Maybe the Twitter folks should listen to HIUgh Hewitt.

HH: I think I’m the only non-elected official in Washington that’s not working for a Big Tech company. I’m not a lobbyist, but every lobbyist in town has signed up. Nevertheless, they keep violating, I say Big Tech, by they, I mean Twitter, Google and Facebook. They keep violating the first rule of holes. They keep digging. And yesterday, Twitter started censoring and commenting on the President’s tweet. So I quote Chariots of Fire. You can’t put in what God left out. They don’t have common sense, Lindsey Graham.

LG: Correct. (Lindsey Graham)

HH: And they do not have Section 230 defense if they’re going to be a publisher.

LG: Yeah, well, what they’re going to do is lose the Section 230 protections. When the internet was first started, you know, YouTube puts a lot of videos up. Anwar al-Awlaki’s still alive out there preaching hatred on YouTube. Well, if you’re a victim of terrorism, can you sue YouTube for having his video up? You know, what I want to do, I want to make sure that the decisions these social media companies make about political content, that we have some system in place that we can all trust. And fact-checking Donald Trump by referring the person to CNN and Washington Post is probably not the way to go.


Stupid is hard to cure, as we see here often.

Freder Frederson said...

Where was this guy when the Democrats were pushing "net neutrality"? Does he oppose governmental regulations on what can be shown on TV or said on the radio?

Net neutrality is about whether isp's can limit bandwidths, it has very little to do with free speech. If you are a broadcaster, you have a license to use part of the public airwaves (which are owned by the government), with that comes responsibilities.

daskol said...

Mark Zuckerberg is lucky to have Jack Dorsey around as an example of not how to run your 203 compliant platform. But then, Dorsey is lucky to have Mark Zuckerberg around so they can play this good cop/bad cop game and deceive the public into thinking there's a lot of daylight in how these tech oligarchs operate. Zuck has a massive empire to protect and grow, while Dorsey has a far more immature platform that needs monetization and growth strategies in order to sustain its current valuation, let alone grow into the kind of empire that Zuck oversees.

Rusty said...

"Proponents of net neutrality, which include computer science experts, consumer advocates, human rights organizations, and Internet content providers claim that net neutrality helps to provide freedom of information exchange, promotes competition and innovation for Internet services, and upholds standardization of Internet data transmission which was essential for its growth. Opponents of net neutrality, which include ISPs, and telecom equipment manufacturers, assert that net neutrality requirements would reduce their incentive to build out the Internet, reduces competition in the marketplace, and may raise their operating costs which they would have to pass along to their users. "
What the state allows you to do can always unallow you to do.

rhhardin said...

Richard Epstein today on Twitter case, podcast
https://www.hoover.org/research/libertarian-free-speech-and-social-media

stan said...

Facebook is censoring all the time

SensibleCitizen said...

The first amendment guarantees the government will not prevent free speech within limits. Not private companies.

The issue here, in my view, is that redress for making an intentionally defamatory written statement against an individual is a civil lawsuit for libel. The government, through the Decency in Communications Act, has indemnified platforms from libel providing the content isn't moderated. Consequently, speech is limited, by the government, if the platform moderator commits libel, but maintains indemnification.

If the content is moderated, and the government has indemnified the platform, then the government is in fact limiting speech. The solution is to not moderate the platforms at all.

Whether he likes it or not, Jack Dorsey is a modern day Alexander Graham Bell. Verizon doesn't get to choose who they sell service to just because they don't agree with the accuracy of the conversations the customer is having. Social media platforms have become utilities by virtue of their own success and they shouldn't be allowed to censure anything without being exposed to libel protections.