Biden says Section 230 tech liability shield should end for Facebook, Zuckerberg should be subject to civil liability

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/17/biden-says-section-230-should.html

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Fuck you, Joe.
The only good I can see coming from this is perhaps influencing other candidates to share their positions on CDA 230.

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Uncle Joe either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care that revoking Section 230 for one platform would effectively revoke it for all of them – including this BBS. I’m glad he’s going after Zuckerberg and Facebook, but he should be focusing on an anti-trust approach (which he won’t, because that would upset his corporate masters).

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Oh, hell, no.

Revoke 230, and the entire Internet falls apart. Nothing would be posted anywhere that wasn’t firmly vetted by their legal department, all comments would cease, all bulletin boards would be instantly gone, internet goes to being a set of content providers pushing their warez down our throat without anything that makes the internet even remotely worth it, like this comment right here.

Biden really just needs to step down as a candidate. He’s like the non-racist, somewhat kinder, smarter Trump. He’s a Republican In All But Name.

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Yes, I’ll vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination, but please, don’t make that Biden.

He’s just too old for his brain to understand complicated new concepts. That’s known brain physiology, not ageism. And this is an example of what results from that inability to understand new things.

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I get that Biden saying to revoke that law makes Biden sound too old to understand things, but I also think whoever wrote that section might have been too old to understand things.

I totally understand why we don’t want the owners of DNS servers being held accountable for the content on the IP addresses they send us. Why we apply the same logic to Facebook taking money from state-operated disinformation shops that make outrageous specific and false claims against individuals goes a little over my head. It feels like it’s a law that can’t tell an ISP from from a murder-for-hire auction site (I realize the latter would face some legal consequences beyond what section 230 could protect it from).

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I firmly disagree.

If Bob’s Car Dealership runs an ad that runs afoul of the truth in advertising act, we don’t punish FOX for running the ad, we punish Bob’s Car Dealership. The same thing should happen with Facebook.

The fox in the henhouse here is that no one has managed to hold Trump accountable for any of the hundreds of crimes, treasons, and war crimes - let alone lies- that he has committed while he’s been in office.

Edited to add: we should have handled the Russian thing either by diplomacy, counter hacking, or directed violence to ensure regime change. Or, it does seem that assassination of foreign leaders is no longer off the table just because it’s a war crime…

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We have entered a philosophical “Age of En-dim-enment” where elected leaders have decided that rule by law is not a thing anymore.

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no one has managed to hold Trump accountable

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… and when he is removed from office, I will be thankful to be wrong.

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This isn’t true. Broadcasters are responsible for ads they broadcast:

What if I think a specific ad is false or misleading?

Broadcasters are responsible for selecting the broadcast material that airs on their stations, including advertisements. The FCC expects broadcasters to be responsible to the community they serve and act with reasonable care to ensure that advertisements aired on their stations are not false or misleading.

(source)

Similar laws exist in Canada and I imagine a lot of other countries. A TV channel might not have a high responsibility to fact check every ad, but if someone made a political ad saying Bernie Sanders murdered a teenager in 1987 and MSNBC decided to play it, they’d be in deep shit. Certainly if they ran a “Join ISIS” ad they’d be in big trouble. Whereas under section 230 Facebook gets to profit off hosting a space for terrorist attack planning (I see from reading wikipedia).

I think the whole subject is complicated enough to warrant more than a single sentence in the law.

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I guess my concern is that eventually there will be the Government Approved Facts and Opinions from the Department of Truth and any fact or opinion that does not conform to the set list (which has nothing to do with reality) is to be blocked.

I hate the fake ads. I want Facebook to voluntarily attempt to determine the truth of ads and refuse to run ads (or to pull ads) that are not true.

But what I don’t want is for some conservative Christian to be able to sue me because I publish a “I Support Gay Rights” banner and not the banner for their “Gay Conversion Therapy (Now with a 95% suicide rate - Your kid will die straight!)”

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It’s always a mixed bag. The FCC might be there protecting people from demonstrably false ads, but obviously tons of ads are bullshit and the FCC is also out there banning things that shouldn’t be banned.

But I feel like you are suggesting the application of the law will somehow be symmetrical. Like the courts didn’t seem to think the first amendment protected communists during McCarthyism. A decade later the exact same tactics as were used against communists were used to target white supremacists and the courts said there was a first amendment issue. Somehow people interpret that as the courts learning their lesson from McCarthyism, but it looks to me a lot more like the law protects who is protects and doesn’t protect who it doesn’t.

Today it may feel like it makes sense to say the theocrats can advertise their gay conversion therapy services on Facebook. But when the theocrats take over the are not going to pay back the favour. They can take a “first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” approach.

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It is a completely overreaction to jump from Biden’s comments to the idea that all comments sections and forums on the internet will have to shut down. Or that this is the first step to a government Truth Board.

Social media needs new regulation. Speech has always been regulated.

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To me the key difference between Facebook, tv, and print is the amount of control Facebook has in what you see. As long as there are targeted ads that can be pumped directly to those most likely to believe false claims and hidden from those most likely to recognize and call out the bullshit, there will be no real acountability for false claims. Eliminating 230 doesn’t fix that and it does cause lots of other problems. Facebook’s business model is the more immediate problem that needs eliminating

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Whenever I see a new law, my first instinct is to think about how it can be used as a crudgel to beat oppressed groups and those who support them with. Because it seems like this is how it is often used.

There is nothing we can do to prevent the theocrats from doing as they will regardless of laws after they take over; they don’t care about rule of law. But we can do everything that we can to make sure that they don’t take over, and to make it harder for them to justify their oppression as merely following existing laws.

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I don’t know about that. I’ve heard of lots of crazy disinformation ads on Facebook and I’m not on Facebook at all. If Facebook were as responsible for advertising as a broadcaster is they would have to take some action. They can’t keep everything hidden. Especially not when the people they target these things to share them with their nieces and nephews to prove how evil the left is.

I think “revoke 230 and let the chips fall” sounds like a dangerous approach, but “conduct significant consultations and policy work to replace 230 with something that gives more power to address obvious bad behaviour” seems like it is warranted.

I agree, and I think part of doing everything we can to stop the theocrats, fascists and pro-genocide groups from taking over is amending laws that are currently making a billion dollar business out of promoting their bullshit.

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The “Internet Research Agency” case is going to trial in a couple of months:

The precedents the prosecutors are trying to establish in this trial will make a great cudgel.

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Just uh, been thinking about this

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Im not a fan of the 230 liability shield.

Sorry.

Its rose colored glasses to defend it as an absolute good.

I dont want the same overreaction and bad policy as the European laws recently but if you just dismiss the concerns, you get that.

I agree id rather he focus on antitrust fbook aspects too, but it boggles me how the total immunity that allows tubesites to profit off the churn of appropriated content, phoned in moderation for illegality has to exist or all the internet collapses.

Part of it is that regulations don’t take into account size of entity. Facebook can afford to comply with more regulation. I get smaller platforms might not. But i see most of the arguments being gigantic entities using the smaller streamer or platform as shields when its just a dodge. I don’t believe utter 230 immunity is necessary as written.

But in any case, i can always pay to advertise to any 230 opponents or supporters whatever i want with no impunity so long as its Facebook

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