“Mr Dorsey, who the hell elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report and what the American people are allowed to hear?”
That was Sen. Cruz doing what he calls the “Free Speech Showdown” during the US Judiciary Committee Hearing.
CEOs of Twitter, Facebook, and Google appeared virtually to testify whether Section 230 was “enabling Big Tech’s Bad Behaviour”
What’s Section 230?
- It’s a law protects platforms (like Twitter) when someone uses them to do something illegal. (Like tweeting something defamatory)
- What does that mean? if you’re angry over a tweet, you can sue the user who posted this tweet but not Twitter.
- That’s not all. Section 230 also allows these platforms to moderate user content as they see fit.
- What does that mean? Twitter can remove a tweet or reduce the spread of it if it violates any policies.
Twitter used this power to:
- add fact checking labels to Trump’s tweets
- and, limit the sharing of a New York Post story.
The last one blew up recently. Twitter and Facebook both limited the sharing of that story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.
The story did had some questionable sources but hey, who gave you the right to “censor” the free press, Mr Dorsey?
The conservatives, thus, argue Twitter is unfairly censoring them.
While also not censoring others like Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei whose tweets seemingly promoted violence against Israel.
So what to do?
- While some want platforms to be politically neutral in moderation decisions, President Trump tweets: “… Repeal Section 230!”
But before tweeting “Repeal Section 230!” remember:
Section 230 is the reason social media sites work today.
If Section 230 is gone, Twitter will be held responsible for everything you tweet and Facebook for everything your post. These platforms will can’t survive that way.
So Section 230 needs reforms but we can’t pulling it off will do no good