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What to do about social media corporations?

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jhkim:
This was a side topic in the political debate, which I thought maybe should be its own topic. Trump had vetoed the defense spending bill to demand that it overturn the Section 230 protection that social media corporations get. In general, the problem is that social media corporations have far too much control over the public debate than many people are comfortable with, but also, many people don't like the idea of regulating them to substitute government control.

From the other thread:


--- Quote from: VisionStorm on January 13, 2021, 09:20:49 AM ---No, online platforms should NOT be responsible for anything anyone posts in their site, and they are NOT good at detecting and shutting down copyrighted material precisely because they consistently shut down fair-use of music and other media. It is not the role of tech companies (or of self-entitled users within their platforms going after people they personally don't like) to make legal determinations about ANYTHING. They're not lawyers, they're not legal scholars or judges or law enforcement and have NO role in the government or legal procedures. These are NOT functions that fall within the purview of fucking monopolistic tech giants. It is not their job and they are not properly equipped to determine whether or not a supposed "tHrEaT oF vIolEnCe" or any other questionable post is legally actionable material. That is the job of the FBI, or equivalent agencies when it comes to users outside of the US. It's supposed to be THEM who make that determination, not our self-appointed tech overlords. That is why section 230 exists, and their insistence on stepping beyond their bounds is precisely why we're on this mess.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote from: jhkim on January 13, 2021, 02:42:58 PM ---What do you think about Trump's calls to remove Section 230 protections for social media?

https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/23/trump-ndaa-veto-section-230/

I'm not sure exactly where I stand on how to reform Section 230, but I do think that it is *not* simply the purview of the FBI and police to handle all lawbreaking. Citizens have a responsibility to report crime and not participate in it.

For example, someone tells me a slanderous rumor about someone else - I then write it up and send it to a newspaper, which prints it. I think both I and the newspaper have some responsibility here - both legally and ethically. Just mindlessly repeating what one is told is wrong. People should be responsible for what they say and publish. That is a standard that newspapers are held to, but social media companies get a special legal loophole.

That said, I'm not eager for social media companies to be the determiners of truth. *If* we give them a legal loophole to avoid responsibility, though, then there need to be strings attached that make the social media more functionally public and allowing of free speech.
--- End quote ---

To explain a little more about the "public" thing -- I've used the analogy of making a town newspaper to today. In the past, if one had a printing press, one could stand on the street beside the newsstand, and have similar visibility to the main newspaper. However, on the Internet, there is essentially no public space - no public visibility. Visibility depends on private companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter linking to you. If they refuse to post links to you - then no one can find your site.

I'll try to address other points in following posts.

Daztur:
Economically it comes down to network effects: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

Even if you hate Facebook and love another site you're going to get a lot more benefit out of using Facebook simply because more people use Facebook. This means that monopolies are a lot stronger with social media than with other stuff. Monopolies or oligopolies are market failures and often call for government intervention.

What could be useful could be a sort of newsreader program for social media that could load posts from your various social media accounts into one feed, that way if people get banned from one service and move to another your newsreader program would just switch over to them without you having to change much.

EOTB:
Protection under policy 230 comes through use of a standard TOS provided within the policy, which may not be modified/customized in any way

The TOS prevents interfering with speech on the platform by its owners or staff unless speech exceeds the limits on speech as set in court precedent, or as otherwise directed by a court in specific circumstances.  (Along with other TOS provisions covering other aspects)

Companies desiring greater control over what appears on their platform do not receive liability protection, but they are free to act as social media companies are acting currently

myleftnut:
What we should do?  Break them up as monopolies


What we will do?  Cry and whine while they gain more power. 

Ratman_tf:

--- Quote from: myleftnut on January 14, 2021, 12:47:21 AM ---What we should do?  Break them up as monopolies


What we will do?  Cry and whine while they gain more power.

--- End quote ---

Yep. I hate to go meta on the thread, but I think it's too late.

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