Big Tech and Uncommon Carriers

Pertinacious Tom

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Punta Gorda FL
Florida Legislators Exempt Their Favorite Companies From Social Media Bill
 

Florida lawmakers have done Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' bidding by passing a bill that would forbid social media companies from deplatforming candidates who are running for office. But an exception tossed in the bill to exempt certain major companies like Disney and Comcast highlights the bill's many legal and constitutional issues.

...

The bill is getting the most media attention for this political component, essentially ordering private online tech companies to serve the communication needs of politicians. Critics of the legislation argue it's a violation of the First Amendment rights of tech companies, who have the power to decide whose messages they want to host. The bill attempts to get around this concern by simply declaring that social media companies "should be treated similarly to common carriers" like phone companies, an argument some find compelling.

On April 29, just prior to the bill's passage, its sponsor, state Sen. Ray Rodrigues (R–Lee County) amended the bill to exempt any system "operated by a company that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex." This is clearly a carveout for Disney, whose power to influence legislation in the state is hard to overstate. It will also most certainly cover any site run by cable juggernaut Comcast, which owns the Universal Studios Theme Parks, one of which is also in Orlando.

One of the bill's sponsors, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia (R–Spring Hill) said the quiet part out loud when asked about it—that they wanted to make sure certain companies with big economic footprints in Florida "aren't caught up in this." The obvious conclusion is that the bill wants to control what some companies do but not other similarly situated companies who have online platforms that would potentially be affected.

"The theme park thing is going to kill this bill [in court]," Berin Szóka, president of technology think tank TechFreedom, tells Reason. Szóka explained in detail in March over at Lawfare why the proposed ban on deplatforming was unconstitutional and trampled on the First Amendment rights of media and tech companies. Lawmakers' choice to exempt major Florida-based companies clarifies that their goal is to control private speech. Szóka says judges will see right through what lawmakers are attempting to do.

...
I hope Szóka is right about that.

 

Pertinacious Tom

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Gov. Greg Abbott attacks First Amendment rights in the name of defending them
 

...

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman says in his decision granting a preliminary injunction against the law, "HB 20's prohibitions on 'censorship' and constraints on how social media platforms disseminate content violate the First Amendment." That's because the First Amendment protects the right of privately operated platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to decide for themselves what sort of speech they want to host.

...

Evaluating the constitutionality of this scheme, Pitman notes that "social media platforms have a First Amendment right to moderate content disseminated on their platforms." He cites three Supreme Court decisions in support of that conclusion.

In the 1974 case Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo, the Court held that a Florida law giving political candidates a "right of reply" to published criticism was unconstitutional. In the 1986 case Pacific Gas & Electric v. Public Utilities Commission of California, the Court said California could not force a utility company to distribute a third-party newsletter in envelopes used for bills. And in the 1995 case Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, the Court upheld a private association's right to exclude a gay rights group's float from a St. Patrick's Day parade. Pitman also cites Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, a 1997 case in which the Supreme Court made it clear that the First Amendment fully applies to the internet.

"The Supreme Court's holdings in Tornillo, Hurley, and PG&E," Pitman says, "stand for the general proposition that private companies that use editorial judgment to choose whether to publish content—and, if they do publish content, use editorial judgment to choose what they want to publish—cannot be compelled by the government to publish other content. That proposition has repeatedly been recognized by courts."

Are platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube exercising "editorial judgment" when they decide to label, block, or limit access to certain messages? Pitman thinks they clearly are.

Pitman rejects the state's argument that social media platforms should be treated as "common carriers" like broadband providers or telephone companies. "Unlike broadband providers and telephone companies," he notes, "social media platforms 'are not engaged in indiscriminate, neutral transmission of any and all users' speech.' User-generated content on social media platforms is screened and sometimes moderated or curated." That is true, to one extent or another, of every social media platform, including the alternative services that Texas chose to exempt from H.B. 20, and it is precisely those moderation and curation decisions to which politicians like Abbott object.

...

In addition to directly interfering with editorial discretion, Pitman says, H.B. 20 would have a chilling effect on the exercise of First Amendment rights because social media companies couldn't be sure which decisions would prompt the lawsuits it authorizes. He agrees with NetChoice that the "threat of myriad lawsuits based on individual examples of content moderation" would "chill the broad application" of rules against disapproved content such as hate speech and medical misinformation.

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Inviting a bunch of lawsuits is a popular way to discourage the exercise of rights that are otherwise hard to ban. Glad the judge saw through it.

 

slug zitski

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Looks like a clumsy solution to a real problem 

best to scrap it and start over again 

What is clear is that De platforming  political opponents is unacceptable 

….west coast tech  interference in the political process is unacceptable 

 

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
Looks like a clumsy solution to a real problem 

best to scrap it and start over again 

What is clear is that De platforming  political opponents is unacceptable 

….west coast tech  interference in the political process is unacceptable 
Why is that?

Does Scott pay for the server you are using to send that message or do you? Are you planning on making him use his private property in ways he does not want to? That is somewhere between a taking and slavery.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Super Anarchist
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Punta Gorda FL
Looks like a clumsy solution to a real problem 

best to scrap it and start over again 

What is clear is that De platforming  political opponents is unacceptable 

….west coast tech  interference in the political process is unacceptable 
No, best to scrap the whole idea as unacceptable. The Lawfare article linked above explains why pretty well:

...

The constitutional limits on compelling political speech are even stricter than those on compelling speech in general. Yet DeSantis wants to give special privileges to political candidates. He proposes to exempt them from social media websites’ content moderation policies, and he wants to impose fines on websites that deplatform candidates during an election.

In short, DeSantis wants tech companies to host certain speakers and viewpoints against their will. This is unconstitutional.

...

Although the Florida bill claims to seek consumer protection, it in fact strikes at free expression. To force a website to reveal more about how it moderates content, or to change its policies less often or more slowly, or to require that it be “consistent”—if such a thing is even possible—is to curtail that website’s editorial discretion, in violation of the First Amendment.

The underlying point is simple: The government cannot force a speaker to explain how it decides what to say.

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I think that's right, but if the other side prevails there is still a possible solution if this site has to explain content moderation policies. Just make Snaggy the public relations officer and he can explain!

 

slug zitski

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Why is that?

Does Scott pay for the server you are using to send that message or do you? Are you planning on making him use his private property in ways he does not want to? That is somewhere between a taking and slavery.
The power of big tech is so great that they can crush  democracy 

the recent example was censoring coverage of  the Biden laptop and influencing the election 

if I do a search from outside the US I get completely different results 

Think of Covid reports from other countries 

you as an American are not allowed to see these  reports .. they are censored out by west coast big tech 

this is what had caused so much vaccine , Covid info distrust in America’s

 

MR.CLEAN

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The reason there was no vaccine hesitancy during polio is because people who work with their hands didn’t have any method to have stupid crap thrust into their heads by profiteers and political charlatans. Unfortunately social media has provided a wonderful way for the undereducated and religiously indoctrinated to be manipulated by bad actors into positions completely unsupported by fact or logic and reliant on grievance and religious dogma for their energy and power. 
 

Every piece of data supports it, every study of demographics, religion, voting, and government mistrust shows that the average republican, religiously observant person, trump voter, and vaccine fearer is significantly less educated and lower IQ than the average blue voter, with vaccine deniers and climate deniers being close to what we used to call retarded.
 

Early religious instruction is strongly correlated as well - those taught to believe Santa and the Easter bunny are quickly enlisted as religious soldiers, following the idea that sky fairies with wings want them to give 10% of their money up to the ghost of a long haired soiboi Jew, and to attack politicians who preach tolerance and love for thy fellow man.  They should instead support an institution whose primary purpose seems to be collecting young boys and girls for sexual gratification of management, and support the billionaires who supervise it all. 
 

y’all are fucked up

 
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slug zitski

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The reason there was no vaccine hesitancy during polio is because people who work with their hands didn’t have any method to have stupid crap thrust into their heads by profiteers and political charlatans. Unfortunately social media has provided a wonderful way for the undereducated and religiously indoctrinated to be manipulated by bad actors into positions completely unsupported by fact or logic and reliant on grievance and religious dogma for their energy and power. 
 

Every piece of data supports it, every study of demographics, religion, voting, and government mistrust shows that the average republican, religiously observant person, trump voter, and vaccine fearer is significantly less educated and lower IQ than the average blue voter, with vaccine deniers and climate deniers being close to what we used to call retarded.
 

Early religious instruction is strongly correlated as well - those taught to believe Santa and the Easter bunny are quickly enlisted as religious soldiers, following the idea that sky fairies with wings want them to give 10% of their money up to the ghost of a long haired soiboi Jew, and to attack politicians who preach tolerance and love for thy fellow man.  They should instead support an institution whose primary purpose seems to be collecting young boys and girls for sexual gratification of management, and support the billionaires who supervise it all. 
 

y’all are fucked up
Polio is deadly 

in Sweden no child has died from covid

when you compare the two you look like a fool 

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
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Kent Island!
The power of big tech is so great that they can crush  democracy 

the recent example was censoring coverage of  the Biden laptop and influencing the election 

if I do a search from outside the US I get completely different results 

Think of Covid reports from other countries 

you as an American are not allowed to see these  reports .. they are censored out by west coast big tech 

this is what had caused so much vaccine , Covid info distrust in America’s
I am sorry - this post ranks a

iu


 

AJ Oliver

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Sandusky Sailing Club

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
the numbers in Sweden are small (50-60 deaths in school age yoot during normal periods), 

but the chances are quite good that you are a liar. 

https://www.science.org/content/article/critics-slam-letter-prestigious-journal-downplayed-covid-19-risks-swedish

And you are also the last person on the planet that I would put in charge of social media. 
Chances are 100% he is a liar, children have died of Covid in Sweden and the death rate for polio was much lower than it is for Covid now.

 

dfw_sailor

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Looks like a clumsy solution to a real problem 

best to scrap it and start over again 

What is clear is that De platforming  political opponents is unacceptable 

….west coast tech  interference in the political process is unacceptable 
No - what is unacceptable is forcing an private company to carry any political message at all. 

That is against the first amendment.

 

slug zitski

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Chances are 100% he is a liar, children have died of Covid in Sweden and the death rate for polio was much lower than it is for Covid now.


Chances are 100% he is a liar, children have died of Covid in Sweden and the death rate for polio was much lower than it is for Covid now.
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2026670?query=recirc_curatedRelated_article
 

From March through June 2020, a total of 15 children with Covid-19 (including those with MIS-C) were admitted to an ICU (0.77 per 100,000 children in this age group) (Table 1), 4 of whom were 1 to 6 years of age (0.54 per 100,000) and 11 of whom were 7 to 16 years of age (0.90 per 100,000). Four of the children had an underlying chronic coexisting condition (cancer in 2, chronic kidney disease in 1, and hematologic disease in 1). No child with Covid-19 died.

 

slug zitski

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Chances are 100% he is a liar, children have died of Covid in Sweden and the death rate for polio was much lower than it is for Covid now.
You are poorly informed
polio is deadly 

“Overall, 5 to 10 percent of patients with paralytic polio die due to the paralysis of muscles used for breathing. The case fatality rate (CFR) varies by age: 2 to 5 percent of children and up to 15 to 30 percent of adults die.

 

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
None of what you wrote is true or it is weaseled to death. Why do you think anyone falls for this dumb shit?

As of November 9 children under 9 years old had died of Covid in Sweden, and in reality land 9 <> 0.

What you FORGOT to mention - wonder why? - is most polio cases do not develop into paralytic polio, only about 0.5 percent do. The death rate from paralyic polio varies between about 5 and 30 percent depending on age, but that is 5-30% of 0.5%.

Do you think we don't know by now this endless flood of bullshit is bullshit :unsure:

 
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