Zuckerberg suggests minor reform of Section 230, which deals with immunity for online...


Posts: 1,044   +15
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In context: The controversial Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been a hotly debated subject as of late, especially in the context of huge misinformation campaigns surrounding the 2020 election and the ongoing pandemic. This is why tech CEOs are about to get grilled again in a new hearing where lawmakers are looking to address the role of social media in promoting extremism and misinformation.

This week, the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google will testify before Congress through a virtual hearing that can be watched live. The main topics of the hearing are the war on misinformation and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. At least two of the executives are preparing to defend the liability protections afforded by Section 230 with testimonies that focus on the role of social media in the January 6 Capitol attack.

Section 230 is a piece of legislation that was passed in 1996 which says that an "interactive computer service" can't be held liable for third-party content as it isn't the publisher of that material. This was a bipartisan effort that sought to protect website owners from being sued for user-generated content, with a few notable exceptions such as pirated works. It is, however, open to misinterpretation and often used as an excuse to ignore platform-wide issues.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will talk about the company's efforts to combat hateful content and misinformation regarding the 2020 election and Covid-19, such as disrupting economic incentives, applying machine learning to detect fraud and spam, and building partnerships with reputable organizations such as Reuters for manual fact-checking.

However, a recent analysis shows Facebook could have done a much better job, as the prime movers for most misinformation on the platform were relatively easy to identify with a more aggressive algorithm.

President Joe Biden suggested during his campaign that he would revoke or rewrite Section 230. Zuckerberg believes the latter option is a better approach, and his written testimony shows he will try to convince lawmakers to make Section 230 protections available only to platforms that "have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it." He also notes that a third party should determine the criteria for evaluating those systems, except when it comes to issues like privacy and encryption, which "deserve a full debate in their own right."

In Zuckerberg's view, giant platforms shouldn't be held liable for whatever pieces of content fall through the cracks of their algorithms, as there's no practical way to guarantee that they won't. On the other hand, his proposal throws smaller platforms under the bus, as most wouldn't have the resources to build the same filtering and moderation tools. And even if they did manage to do it, they'd impact their user growth in ways that platforms like Facebook never had to until the recent past.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey don't have any proposals for how lawmakers should reform Section 230. Pichai says he's concerned that changes to the legislation could have unintended consequences for platforms and their users, and instead would like the focus to be on "ensuring transparent, fair, and effective processes for addressing harmful content and behavior."

Dorsey doesn't mention Section 230 in his written remarks, but will talk about innovations that Twitter is bringing to the table with experiments like Birdwatch and Bluesky. And just like Zuckerberg, he doesn't believe it's possible to moderate every single interaction on Twitter, which is why the company's efforts are focused towards increasing trust and transparency.

The last time tech CEOs were grilled by Congress was on antitrust issues, and it quickly devolved into a political spectacle. Chances are this time will be no different, with Republican lawmakers accusing executives of censoring conservative content on their platforms, while Democratic lawmakers will no doubt criticize them for not doing enough to curb the spread of harmful content.

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Posts: 5,667   +6,451
Not sure how this is gonna end.

Thing is: if you have a problem with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or any other Social Media...

STOP using it!



Posts: 2,996   +4,796
Coming from the same group that classifies anyone or anything to the right of stalin as a "nazi" or "hateful content". NOW big tech wants to "reform" 230, that can only mean one thing, they want to change it to benefit them MORE while censoring any who disagree with them.

Remember, these are the SAME tech leaders who will tell you things like "questioning mask mandates is wrong think" while happily memory holing the likes of Cuomo and Newsom telling their state's residents to stop being racist and go shop at a Chinese establishment less then a week before national lockdowns, or Faucci saying "masks do nothing" then doing a 180 degree flip weeks later with just as much evidence. The same people that label anyone who says "St. Floyd had a lethal amount of fentanyl in his system and had swallowed fentanyl to hide it before" as a racist nazi, despite the statement having NOTHING to do with race.

These two timed double faced charlatans are the same ones that want to tell you what "misinformation" is and combat "fake news" while they themselves hide anything they dont like. You cannot trust big tech anymore then you can trust the government, and they are about as trustworthy as a tin house built on the side of an active volcano. These people smear newspeak all over their platforms then yell at you for noticing their hypocrisy, and they shouldnt be let anywhere NEAR regulations pertaining to their business. Have we not learned yet that regulations set by the industry they regulate NEVER WORK?
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Posts: 335   +422
NOW big tech wants to "reform" 230, that can only mean one thing, they want to change it to benefit them MORE while censoring any who disagree with them.
I don’t think they want to change it, but they see potential change coming as signalled by the new US government so they are going to try to influence any change to their advantage.

I’m sure our political views are very different so I’m interested in your perspective: I think we agree platforms should not be forced by governments to moderate “misinformation”, “lies”, “fake news” etc (that would be government censoring speech), but do you think they should have a right as the owner of the service to remove anything they wish? I think platforms should have the right to remove anything they like because it would be unreasonable for the government to force a private entity to host and display something it didn’t want to.


Posts: 1,477   +739
F**k them all.

These people cant seem to comprehend that they personally made Trump president. I voted for him after not voting at all in 2016. I don't like Trump and I don't like bullying, so I voted for Trump in 2020.
They are blind because suppressing the voices of nearly half of USA, they only create the division.
I think in the heads of certain people, if you can silence someone, they stop existing.
How did that work in 2016? Well, the man not very fit to be a president has become one.
I can clearly see what they are gonna do next. They will censor harder, and that will
allow more radical politicians to have a chance at the presidency. because when
they try to silence people they don't like, specifically those who aren't fans of the left,
they only allow those to gather up somewhere else, while hating those who don't allow them to speak.
Deplatforming Parler is the most concerning thing I've seen in the last few years.
Maybe it is time to make some of these abominable monsters smaller.



Posts: 1,997   +830
I say just leave it alone. We need more platforms. If they won't to be political with their platform, then that shall be their right. I don't care for some of their fact checking, but it hasn't stopped that much.

Cubi Dorf

Posts: 372   +244
If united state make laws that restrict free speech or press it violate their first amendment. making law that make company restrict free speech or press is still a law that restrict free speech or press. they could get rid of section 230, but I don’t think they can add restriction to free speech or press to it without violation. getting rid would just mean social media need to hire more lawyer to determine if being wrong about something on internet is crime in your “land of the free”. Seems like first amendment is being tested and they don’t like it anymore.