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Justice Department Proposes Weakening Social Media's Legal Shield

Ikari

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The Justice Department has asked Congress to pass legislation holding online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter more accountable for what their users post, in the Trump administration's latest salvo against social media companies.

The proposed changes would reshape Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which has long protected websites from lawsuits over the content users post, and the decisions the companies make about moderating or removing content.

"For too long Section 230 has provided a shield for online platforms to operate with impunity," said Attorney General William P. Barr in a statement. "Ensuring that the internet is a safe, but also vibrant, open and competitive environment is vitally important to America. We therefore urge Congress to make these necessary reforms to Section 230 and begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate criminal activity online."
Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
 

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Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
Should such platforms pick and choose what they allow to onto their sites, then they become liable for what they choose to permit onto it.
 

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Should such platforms pick and choose what they allow to onto their sites, then they become liable for what they choose to permit onto it.
Nope.

They can police the postings on their sites and they may ban or censor as they see fit. It's private.
 

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Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
Is this an admission by the administration that all their big talk about executive orders and lawsuits was legal trash?

I suggest the house get right on that...
 

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Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
Which right to "knowingly facilitate criminal activity" are you talking about in particular?
 

Athanasius68

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Nope.

They can police the postings on their sites and they may ban or censor as they see fit. It's private.
That would be false. They are presently exempt from libel liability and the like from the 1996 law because the law recognizes that they operate a forum; anyone can say anything they wish on these public sites.
But if they are going to be in business of picking and choosing what they allow to be posted, they are becoming publishers and editors, and then yes, just like print media they should be held liable for their decisions and actions. That is what the DOJ is looking at.
 

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Which right to "knowingly facilitate criminal activity" are you talking about in particular?
Social Media can indeed censor and restrict what is being placed on their own equipment. They are not responsible for criminal activities of others, though if it's found that someone posted something that advocates criminal activity, it should be taken down and the authorities alerted. It's likely not easy for the large tech sites to fully monitor everything, however, and thus they shouldn't be liable for it.

It's quite clear that the intent here is to punish social media sites that don't behave as Trump would like them to.
 

Ikari

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That would be false. They are presently exempt from libel liability and the like from the 1996 law because the law recognizes that they operate a forum; anyone can say anything they wish on these public sites.
But if they are going to be in business of picking and choosing what they allow to be posted, they are becoming publishers and editors, and then yes, just like print media they should be held liable for their decisions and actions. That is what the DOJ is looking at.
It's private, they can police what is being put there. People post their own material, so they are the publishers, but places like Debate Politics, Twitter, Facebook, etc. has the right to censor material on their site to their liking. They aren't liable for what random people post on their forums, but they do have the right to police the content.
 

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But outfits like Parler would be exempt under Trump's rule, yes?
 

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Social Media can indeed censor and restrict what is being placed on their own equipment. They are not responsible for criminal activities of others, though if it's found that someone posted something that advocates criminal activity, it should be taken down and the authorities alerted. It's likely not easy for the large tech sites to fully monitor everything, however, and thus they shouldn't be liable for it.
The devil is in the details (i.e. how exactly the law is written) - but I think the keyword there is "knowingly". I suppose the law might cover a situation where something is reported and they have time to do something about it, but don't. It might also force companies to implement better protections against online predators, etc.
 

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It's private, they can police what is being put there. People post their own material, so they are the publishers, but places like Debate Politics, Twitter, Facebook, etc. has the right to censor material on their site to their liking. They aren't liable for what random people post on their forums, but they do have the right to police the content.
If they are going to exercise a right to police the content of what is posted on their sites, then they are claiming to be responsible for what is posted on their site.
The DOJ is evidently investigating whether the law needs to be adjusted to reflect that reality.
 

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That would be false. They are presently exempt from libel liability and the like from the 1996 law because the law recognizes that they operate a forum; anyone can say anything they wish on these public sites.
But if they are going to be in business of picking and choosing what they allow to be posted, they are becoming publishers and editors, and then yes, just like print media they should be held liable for their decisions and actions. That is what the DOJ is looking at.

Oh, goody... I can't wait for the owners of Debate Politics to start taking out some on the trash that gets posted here...
 

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Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
If they want to act as more than a conduit they don't deserve conduit protection. Simple as that.
 

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If they want to act as more than a conduit they don't deserve conduit protection. Simple as that.
Private property. I thought "conservatives" and such believed in that. Perhaps not...too many socialists in the mix it seems.
 

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Looks like Trump is getting upset that private companies were able to set rules and limits for what they allow to be posted on their apps. I don't think this is a good move, it's clearly just reactionary nonsense and Trump's desire to bring the hammer of government against the free exercise of rights.
Another misrepresentation of the issues?

Social media platforms have Section 230 protections against being held liable for things presented on their platforms. This because they claim to be non-biased "platforms" of member's free expression.

But when they use such protections to "editorialize," "de-rank," or "ban" certain viewpoints via unclear TOS that would otherwise be considered valid free speech? In order to push narratives the site owners support/agree with?

Then it is no longer a simple "platform," it becomes a partisan media purveyor, and thus should be held liable for the mis-, and dis-information they allow to be published.

Just like any other media...subject to civil suit and other liability for their "work product."
 
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The sooner facebook, twitter, 8chan and the like go away, the better. If we have to lose DP, so be it. The world will be better off. You can still share your vacation photos with friends and family, you'll just have to learn how to use a different app. Nobody actually has 5,000 friends.
 

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Great, exactly what we do not need... more government intervention into what people say and how they say it.

Hmmm, I recall something in the Bill of Rights about this.
 

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Private property. I thought "conservatives" and such believed in that. Perhaps not...too many socialists in the mix it seems.
You're totally confused about how this works. Huh?...lol
 

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Another misrepresentation of the issues?

Social media platforms have Section 230 protections against being held liable for things presented on their platforms. This because they claim to be non-biased "platforms" of member's free expression.

But when they use such protections to "editorialize," "de-rank," or "ban" certain viewpoints via unclear TOS that would otherwise be considered valid free speech? In order to push narratives the site owners support/agree with?

Then it is no longer a simple "platform," it becomes a partisan media purveyor, and thus should be held liable for the mis-, and dis-information they allow to be published.

Just like and other media...subject to civil suit and other liability for their "work product."
LMAO... Will THIS forum be subjected to the same standard?
 

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Private property. I thought "conservatives" and such believed in that. Perhaps not...too many socialists in the mix it seems.
Got nothing to do with "private property". If it WERE private property the various sites would be responsible for all content, they don't want that; they don't want possible liability for every post made on their sites and the FCC code protects them as long as they don't alter, edit, or screen posts (with exceptions for porn, threats, etc.)
 

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Got nothing to do with "private property". If it WERE private property the various sites would be responsible for all content, they don't want that; they don't want possible liability for every post made on their sites and the FCC code protects them as long as they don't alter, edit, or screen posts (with exceptions for porn, threats, etc.)
Does Debate Politics want responsibility for every post made here?
 

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Great, exactly what we do not need... more government intervention into what people say and how they say it.

Hmmm, I recall something in the Bill of Rights about this.
Online platforms want government protection. Perhaps they should surrender those protections and get the government out of the equation, all together? We all know that won't happen...lol
 

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Online platforms want government protection. Perhaps they should surrender those protections and get the government out of the equation, all together? We all know that won't happen...lol
Sorry, most evidence to date including appearance in front of various Congressional hearings suggest otherwise. For the most part the general consensus is for the government to stay out of social media and that means your post... predictably... is nonsense.
 

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Sorry, most evident to date including appearance in front of various Congressional hearing suggest otherwise. For the most part the general consensus is for the government to stay out of social media and that means your post... predictably... is nonsense.
If social media wants the government to stay out, then they can surrender the government protections they begged for. That's fair.
 
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