Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Political Theatre Order

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Orlylicious
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Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Political Theatre Order

#1

Post by Orlylicious »

In the 90s, my company was deeply in the middle of the debate over Section 230 and it's implementation. Contrary to IMPOTUS, Matt Gaetz, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and the idiots posting on Twitter, the only reason people are even able to post content is because of these "safe harbor" provisions. Here's a really good story about how it all came down -- it was GOP congressman Chris Cox, joined by Ron Wyden, and signed by Bill Clinton in 1996. We were involved with Prodigy, CompuServe and AOL, a lot of this started over a message board posting slamming a firm called Stratton Oakmont (if anybody remembers this, it was really a big deal at the time).

Cox had landed on an article about a ruling by the New York Supreme Court. The case involved an online message board run by Prodigy* – a now-defunct firm that at the time ran one of America’s largest websites. At the heart of the case was a post on a message board in which an unknown user claimed that Stratton Oakmont – the New York brokerage firm later immortalised in The Wolf of Wall Street – and its president had committed fraud.

Stratton Oakmont sued Prodigy for defamation, and the case boiled down to a simple question: was Prodigy legally responsible for something one of its users posted? The problem went right into the weeds of defamation law. If Prodigy was considered a “publisher” of the comments, then it was responsible. If it was a mere “distributor” it was off the hook.

In May 1995 to court decided that Prodigy was liable for the defamatory statements – arguing that because the firm had content guidelines and used software to remove offensive language, it was legally responsible for the content of those posts. This reasoning rankled Cox. Why should companies be penalised for trying to moderate online content?
Full story is here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/section ... ecency-act

Some of these twits were blaming Obama and Joe Biden :brickwallsmall: but surprisingly, one guy admitted he was wrong. Maybe there's hope.




Anyway, haven't thought about it in a long time, but with the way technology is now, what it seems they are looking for would be *government* created social media channels. Then the 1st Amendment would apply, nothing would be restricted, it would be non profit and uncontrolled. People would choose if they wanted to be part of it. Could work!

Although it would be a nasty, poorly designed, poorly load balanced, technologically obsolete, bitter sewer, seems like that's what they'd like. FREEDOM to be as rude and nasty as you want with no consequences. Count me out but we'd still be on Twitter with the nice people. :lol:

Because private companies will never accept blanket liability -- if Section 230 was eliminated, all unmoderated content would be too. Seems like they haven't realized that yet because MAGA! Idiots.

Bringing it up because it presents a lot of important legal issues and well, this is the place for that. :P


* Small joke -- Prodigy was a joint venture of IBM and Sears. Scott Kurnit, who ran it, was a dick. We BEGGED Sears to put their catalog online and they absolutely wouldn't do it, that's when we knew Sears was going down. The joke then was that Prodigy was the best of Sears' technology and the best of IBM's shopping (very geek joke!)
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#2

Post by Orlylicious »

So IMPOTUS is saying he's going to sign an Executive Order tomorrow about Social Media companies which is an outrageous attempt at distraction when 100,000 people died of COVID today. Sigh. This stupid thing has been kicking around since 2019, this is so blatantly dishonest and ridiculous. The problem isn't "conservative" views, it's dishonest, racist, harassing and other unacceptable conduct.
Trump to sign executive order on social media amid Twitter furor
Kayleigh McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One that the order is “pertaining to social media” but shared no additional details on what it will do.
By CRISTIANO LIMA 05/27/2020 07:36 PM EDT

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order aimed at social media companies on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday evening, a move that comes as the president and his allies have escalated their allegations that companies like Twitter and Facebook stifle GOP voices. McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One that the order is “pertaining to social media” but shared no additional details on what it will do.

Trump and his supporters have been hammering Twitter since the social network labeled a pair of his tweets with a fact-checking notice for the first time on Tuesday, and the president pledged Wednesday that "big action" will follow. Twitter acted after Trump had alleged without evidence that mail-in ballots are likely to be “substantially fraudulent,” in tweets that the company said contained misleading information about the electoral process. The move triggered an array of rebukes from Republicans, including Trump.

“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, adding that “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” Democrats, meanwhile, have complained that Twitter has been too slow to respond to a litany of abusive, inaccurate or inflammatory tweets from the president, including his recent baseless insinuations that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough may be guilty of murder.

POLITICO reported last year that the White House was circulating a draft executive order to address long-standing accusations from conservatives about bias by social media companies. CNN later reported that the order would task the Federal Communications Commission with developing regulations to clarify when social media companies qualify for crucial liability protections, and would have the Federal Trade Commission “take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies." But the executive order was never unveiled, and even Trump's appointees at those agencies have expressed little appetite for scrutinizing tweets and Facebook posts.
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/2 ... ter-285891

Dusting off the old distraction...

White House drafting executive order to tackle Silicon Valley’s alleged anti-conservative bias
By MARGARET HARDING MCGILL and DANIEL LIPPMAN 08/07/2019 03:07 PM EDT

The White House is circulating drafts of a proposed executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies, according to a White House official and two other people familiar with the matter — a month after President Donald Trump pledged to explore "all regulatory and legislative solutions" on the issue. None of the three would describe the contents of the order, which one person cautioned has already taken many different forms and remains in flux. But its existence, and the deliberations surrounding it, are evidence that the administration is taking a serious look at wielding the federal government’s power against Silicon Valley.

“If the internet is going to be presented as this egalitarian platform and most of Twitter is liberal cesspools of venom, then at least the president wants some fairness in the system,” the White House official said. “But look, we also think that social media plays a vital role. They have a vital role and an increasing responsibility to the culture that has helped make them so profitable and so prominent." Two other people knowledgeable about the discussions also confirmed the existence of the draft order.

None of the three people could say what penalties, if any, the order would envision for companies deemed to be censoring political viewpoints. The order, which deals with other topics besides tech bias, is still in the early drafting stages and is not expected to be issued imminently. "The President announced at this month’s social media summit that we were going to address this and the administration is exploring all policy solutions," a second White House official said Wednesday when asked about the draft order.

Accusations of anti-conservative bias have become a frequent rallying cry for Trump and his supporters, seizing on incidents in which tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube have banned people like InfoWars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones or faced accusations of squelching posts by pro-Trump social media personalities Diamond and Silk. The companies have denied the allegations of bias, though they say they have blocked or removed users who violate community standards policies. They have also faced complaints from liberal activists that they're too slow to remove hate speech, a category that some say includes Trump's own tweets.
***
But the White House effort may be complicated by skepticism in some agencies involved in the discussions about tech policy. The Republicans at the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission have said publicly that they don’t see a role for their agencies in policing companies’ online content. The FCC and FTC have joined the Justice and Commerce departments in discussions about the potential bias crackdown. “There’s very little in terms of direct regulation the federal government can do without congressional action, and frankly I think that’s a positive thing,” said John Morris, who handled internet policy issues at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration before leaving in May. He added: "Although the government may be able to support and assist online platforms’ efforts to reduce hate and violence online, the government should not try to impose speech regulations on private platforms. As politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have historically urged, the government should not be in the business of regulating speech."
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/ ... ip-1639051


Josh Hawley's letter. Twitter should stop all tweets for a week and see what happens.





:brickwallsmall:
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#3

Post by bob »

Newsweek: Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump:
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Twitter on Wednesday after the microblogging platform fact-checked a tweet of President Donald Trump's that falsely claimed mail-in voting increases voter fraud.

Twitter tagged Trump's tweets with the message reading, "Get the facts about mail-in ballots." The message linked to a page contradicting Trump's baseless assertions. Twitter's action marked the first time the platform has ever marked any of Trump's tweets as misleading.

"We have a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this," Zuckerberg told Dana Perino, host of the Fox News show The Daily Briefing, in an interview clip. The full interview is expected to air on Thursday.

"I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. In general, private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that," Zuckerberg added.

Perino said that Zuckerberg told her that Facebook refuses to intervene in censoring public posts unless there's a threat of imminent harm. She added that Facebook is "hands off" when it comes to political speech.
Zuckerberg, for one, welcomes his Cheeto overlords.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#4

Post by neonzx »

bob wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:09 pm
Newsweek: Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump:
Well that is a 180 from just 2 years ago when FB welcomed news programs to tour their new election "war room" for combating misinformation on their platform.
:roll:

So, so, so.. glad I never never bought into FB even when all my friends and relatives kept urging. :nope: And I'm a career tech guy and even to me, it seemed way too creepy invasive (way more than) a decade ago.

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#5

Post by Chilidog »

Bow down to your overlord

Image

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p0rtia
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#6

Post by p0rtia »

Executive order. Yeah, right.

:bored:
No matter where you go, there you are! :towel:
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#7

Post by neonzx »

p0rtia wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:42 pm
Executive order. Yeah, right.

:bored:
@jack has way more verifiable money and lawyers than he. Trump can try an executive order. :daydream:

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#8

Post by Orlylicious »

Jack gets the ball rolling...
jack ‏Verified account @jack
Fact check: there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally. And we will admit to and own any mistakes we make.
11:47 PM - 27 May 2020 from California, USA
Thread, more at the tweet --

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#9

Post by bob »

Lotsa outlets are saying they've seen a draft of the executive order, e.g.: Reuters: Trump's executive order targets political bias at Twitter and Facebook: draft:
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation.

* * *

The order, a draft copy of which was seen by Reuters, could change before it is finalized. On Wednesday, officials said Trump will sign an executive order on social media companies on Thursday.

* * *

The executive order would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to propose and clarify regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a federal law largely exempting online platforms from legal liability for the material their users post. Such changes could expose tech companies to more lawsuits.

The order asks the FCC to examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the platform forfeiting its protections under section 230.

It requires the agency to look at whether a social media platform uses deceptive policies to moderate content and if its policies are inconsistent with its terms of service.

The draft order also states that the White House Office of Digital Strategy will re-establish a tool to help citizens report cases of online censorship.

Called the White House Tech Bias Reporting Tool, it will collect complaints of online censorship and submit them to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

It requires the FTC to then “consider taking action”, look into whether complaints violate the law, develop a report describing such complaints and make the report publicly available.
Draft of proposed executive order.

Executive summary: mostly nothingburger; more movement than action.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#10

Post by bob »

For Stern, etc.:

:roll:
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#11

Post by Orlylicious »

Further to what Bob posted. Maggie and Kate were up late.
Executive Order Is Expected to Curtail Protections for Social Media Companies
The move is almost certain to face a court challenge and signals the latest salvo by President Trump to crack down on online platforms.
By Maggie Haberman and Kate Conger May 28, 2020 Updated 2:14 a.m. ET

The Trump administration is preparing an executive order intended to curtail the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for what gets posted on their platforms, two senior administration officials said early Thursday.
***
The move is almost certain to face a court challenge and is the latest salvo by President Trump in his repeated threats to crack down on online platforms. Twitter this week attached fact-checking notices to two of the president’s tweets after he made false claims about voter fraud, and Mr. Trump and his supporters have long accused social media companies of silencing conservative voices.

White House officials said the president would sign the order later Thursday, but they declined to comment on its content. A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, online companies have broad immunity from liability for content created by their users. But the draft of the executive order, which refers to what it calls “selective censoring,” would allow the Commerce Department to try to refocus how broadly Section 230 is applied, and to let the Federal Trade Commission bulk up a tool for reporting online bias. It would also provide limitations on how federal dollars can be spent to advertise on social media platforms.
***
Courts have often ruled in favor of technology companies, upholding their immunity. It is not clear that the executive order would alter judges’ views on the law. “It’s unclear what to make of this because to a certain extent, you can’t just issue an executive order and overturn on a whim 25 years of judicial precedent about how a law is interpreted,” said Kate Klonick, an assistant law professor at St. John’s University who studies online speech and content moderation. Ms. Klonick, who said she had seen a draft version of the order, said that it was “likely not going to be upheld by a court.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us/p ... media.html

The CDA was passed by Congress. The FTC will be thrilled receiving millions of disgusting tweets, they will be overwhelmed. Nuts.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#12

Post by bob »

The draft quotemines from Packingham v. North Carolina for some very Kennedy dicta that social media platforms are the modern equivalent of the town square.

Expect articles to note that Packingham was a sex offender who was prohibited from using social media; the impeached president perhaps should not draw parallels between himself and sex offenders on the internet.
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Mr Brolin
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#13

Post by Mr Brolin »

To say that the idiots proposing this action are fundamentally stupid is a massive under statement, I would be quite happy to see them attempt to enforce this....mostly due to the wide range of follow through fallout from the Laws of Unintended Consequences........

Let us suppose for one moment that The Great Sand Worm ACTUALLY does place his child like scrawl to this EO as opposed to threatening to.

"Stop being mean to us "conservatives" by treating us differently".....

OK, say Twatter....no worries, new T's+C's...We will apply the full and complete set of rules to ALL threads, tweets, retweets and posts by users with a threshold of more than 1 million followers or an average of more than 50,000 retweets per post...the FULL set.......

So, basically every single solitary tweet, re-tweet and post of the monkey that would be king would be tagged, reviewed and/or deleted.

Since much of the conspiracy amd magical thinking emanates in original form from the right...... :mrgreen:

Seems reasonable to me........

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#14

Post by RoadScholar »

There is no Mainstream Media bias, nor selective sensorship of Conservatives. It only seems that way because they more often deserve criticism and tell lies.
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#15

Post by Northland10 »

RoadScholar wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:20 am
There is no Mainstream Media bias, nor selective sensorship of Conservatives. It only seems that way because they more often deserve criticism and tell lies.
And the right loves to play the victim so they scream about it about the imaginary bias, all the time.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#16

Post by Suranis »

The difference between the Middle Ages, and the Age of the Internet, is that in the Middle Ages no-one thought the Earth was flat.

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#17

Post by neonzx »

Last page:

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"monitoring or creating watch-lists of users"
"monitoring users based on their activity off the platform"

:shock:

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#18

Post by Chilidog »

So....

Getting on Trump's enemies list is going to be like Nixon's List.

A badge of honor!

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#19

Post by neeneko »

neonzx wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:28 am
"monitoring or creating watch-lists of users"
"monitoring users based on their activity off the platform"
So I guess he wants to track employees of social media platforms and use their political views as proof of bais at companies? Curtailing speech in order to protect it.

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#20

Post by Maybenaut »

I wonder what Trump would do if Twitter just decided, you know, these regulations are too onerous for us. We’re just gonna shut it all down.
"Hey! You know, we left this England place because it was bogus. So if we don't get some cool rules ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#21

Post by RoadScholar »

Besides, even if Twitter were bound by free-speech law, no curtailment of speech occurred. Trump's tweet went out, it wasn't deleted. So the fact-check was commentary... free speech in its own right, no?
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#22

Post by pipistrelle »

RoadScholar wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 11:20 am
Besides, even if Twitter were bound by free-speech law, no curtailment of speech occurred. Trump's tweet went out, it wasn't deleted. So the fact-check was commentary... free speech in its own right, no?
Yes.

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#23

Post by Chilidog »

So what moron in the west wing came up with this nonsense?

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#24

Post by PaulG »

neonzx wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:28 am

"monitoring or creating watch-lists of users"
"monitoring users based on their activity off the platform"
To do this, they will need to know the real ID's of users. Does Devin Nunes get to know his cows name after all? Plus about 10000 other anti trump posters? Can we identify the pro trump people, or do they skate because they all live in Russia?

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Re: Section 230 - Safe Harbor - Social Media Executive Order?

#25

Post by neeneko »

PaulG wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 12:08 pm
To do this, they will need to know the real ID's of users. Does Devin Nunes get to know his cows name after all? Plus about 10000 other anti trump posters? Can we identify the pro trump people, or do they skate because they all live in Russia?
I suspect the intent of that part is to track the political views of platform employees, not end users. Think about the current pattern of when a conservative voice references the progressive media posts of company employees as 'proof' the moderation must have bais, and then formalzing that.

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