If you have no idea what Section 230 is, or why it’s important, here’s the basic principle:
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
To break it down further, a picture describing what the Internet might look like if CDA 230 didn’t exist:
Sparknotes version: Republicans think that social media platforms censor too much, and/or discriminate against conservative ideas. Democrats, on the other hand, think the solution is more censorship to stop the spread of misinformation. They do agree that either way, big tech has too much power.
The middle acknowledges that there is no Michael Scott win-win-win scenario here.
Tomorrow the CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet (Google), and Twitter will testify at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing is on “social media’s role in promoting extremism and misinformation.”
Today Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg submitted a written testimony in which he said the following:
Instead of being granted immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it.
Mark Zuckerberg, via WSJ
But, never mind that.
Laws like the ones he’s suggesting would be a death sentence to small platforms. This type of complex regulation would require resources that these small companies do not have, and it would just serve to widen the moat for companies like Facebook.
This is so on-brand for Mark Zuckerberg, too. Of course he wants to create an environment where only the biggest can survive.
At least Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Google’s Sundar Pichai have been less take-over-the-worldy about it than Zuckerberg. In fact, Dorsey has even cautioned Congress about the dangers of law changes that disproportionately benefit the companies with the deepest pockets. Twitter also recently released a survey to users asking for their opinion on how they think the company should handle violations from world leaders (Trump). So, step in the right direction, I suppose…
But fuckin’ Zuckerberg, man. He’s just got one of those faces….