Full story is here: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/section ... ecency-actCox 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?
Some of these twits were blaming Obama and Joe Biden 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.
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.
* 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!)