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YouTube and content moderation

Cullen - nice post on YouTube today. It is funny watching Conservatives talk out of both sides of their mouths on this issue. On the one hand they want to protect private property rights, but on the other they want to protect free speech. But they don’t seem to understand that free speech doesn’t give you the right to say whatever you want on private property.

 

The main issue is "Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunizes online platforms for their users’ defamatory, fraudulent, or otherwise unlawful content. Congress granted this extraordinary benefit to facilitate “forum[s] for a true diversity of political discourse.” This exemption from standard libel law is extremely valuable to the companies that enjoy its protection, such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but they only got it because it was assumed that they would operate as impartial, open channels of communication—not curators of acceptable opinion."

 

These companies are in fact publishers and not open platforms when they pick and choose.  If they can be sued for libel then sure they can police content. But if they hide behind sec230, then they should not be allowed such freedoms to pick and choose content they do not agree with.

"The dominant social media companies must choose: if they are neutral platforms, they should have immunity from litigation. If they are publishers making editorial choices, then they should relinquish this valuable exemption. They can’t claim that Section 230 immunity is necessary to protect free speech, while they shape, control, and censor the speech on their platforms. Either the courts or Congress should clarify the matter."

https://www.city-journal.org/html/platform-or-publisher-15888.html

The key point is what is "neutral". No one really knows. That's why firms get great discretion in determining what is and is not within the gray area of "neutral" content. As they should. After all, if you call Samantha a "dumb blonde" she might take great offense to that and sue me for allowing that content to be published. Obviously, calling someone a dumb blonde isn't illegal or necessarily offensive. So I have discretion in determining the context of that content on my website. As I should since it is my private property.

"Pragmatic Capitalism is the best website on the Internet. Just trust me. Please?" - Cullen Roche