Apple-backed tech group’s lawsuit says President Trump’s social media order is unconstitutional

An advocacy group backed by Apple and other prominent tech industry companies filed a lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his executive order that would remove or change a provision of a law known as Section 230 that currently shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.

Apple-backed tech group's lawsuit says President Trump's social media order is unconstitutional. Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) confers with U.S. President Donald Trump in September 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook (left) confers with U.S. President Donald Trump in September 2019

Alison Frankel and Nandita Bose for Reuters:

The Washington-based Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) said in its lawsuit that Trump’s executive order violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies… The lawsuit argues that Trump’s executive order will “chill future online speech by other speakers” and reduce the ability of Americans to speak freely online.

The proposed legislation was part of an executive order Trump signed on Thursday… Trump said he wants to “remove or change” a provision of a law known as Section 230 that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users. He also said Attorney General William Barr will begin drafting legislation “immediately” to regulate social media companies.

CDT’s donors include Alphabet’s Google, Facebook Inc, Apple and Microsoft, according to the Capital Research Center…

MacDailyNews Note: President Trump’s “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship,” issued on the 28th of May 2020, verbatim:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy. Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.

In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand pick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet. This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power. They cease functioning as passive bulletin boards, and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators.

The growth of online platforms in recent years raises important questions about applying the ideals of the First Amendment to modern communications technology. Today, many Americans follow the news, stay in touch with friends and family, and share their views on current events through social media and other online platforms. As a result, these platforms function in many ways as a 21st century equivalent of the public square.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube wield immense, if not unprecedented, power to shape the interpretation of public events; to censor, delete, or disappear information; and to control what people see or do not see.

As President, I have made clear my commitment to free and open debate on the internet. Such debate is just as important online as it is in our universities, our town halls, and our homes. It is essential to sustaining our democracy.

Online platforms are engaging in selective censorship that is harming our national discourse. Tens of thousands of Americans have reported, among other troubling behaviors, online platforms “flagging” content as inappropriate, even though it does not violate any stated terms of service; making unannounced and unexplained changes to company policies that have the effect of disfavoring certain viewpoints; and deleting content and entire accounts with no warning, no rationale, and no recourse.

Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias. As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet. As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets. Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets.

At the same time online platforms are invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise restrict Americans’ speech here at home, several online platforms are profiting from and promoting the aggression and disinformation spread by foreign governments like China. One United States company, for example, created a search engine for the Chinese Communist Party that would have blacklisted searches for “human rights,” hid data unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party, and tracked users determined appropriate for surveillance. It also established research partnerships in China that provide direct benefits to the Chinese military. Other companies have accepted advertisements paid for by the Chinese government that spread false information about China’s mass imprisonment of religious minorities, thereby enabling these abuses of human rights. They have also amplified China’s propaganda abroad, including by allowing Chinese government officials to use their platforms to spread misinformation regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undermine pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

As a Nation, we must foster and protect diverse viewpoints in today’s digital communications environment where all Americans can and should have a voice. We must seek transparency and accountability from online platforms, and encourage standards and tools to protect and preserve the integrity and openness of American discourse and freedom of expression.

Sec. 2. Protections Against Online Censorship. (a) It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet. Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)). 47 U.S.C. 230(c). It is the policy of the United States that the scope of that immunity should be clarified: the immunity should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech, but in reality use their power over a vital means of communication to engage in deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.

Section 230(c) was designed to address early court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricted access to some content posted by others, it would thereby become a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation. As the title of section 230(c) makes clear, the provision provides limited liability “protection” to a provider of an interactive computer service (such as an online platform) that engages in “‘Good Samaritan’ blocking” of harmful content. In particular, the Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material. The provision was also intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” 47 U.S.C. 230(a)(3). The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.

In particular, subparagraph (c)(2) expressly addresses protections from “civil liability” and specifies that an interactive computer service provider may not be made liable “on account of” its decision in “good faith” to restrict access to content that it considers to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.” It is the policy of the United States to ensure that, to the maximum extent permissible under the law, this provision is not distorted to provide liability protection for online platforms that — far from acting in “good faith” to remove objectionable content — instead engage in deceptive or pretextual actions (often contrary to their stated terms of service) to stifle viewpoints with which they disagree. Section 230 was not intended to allow a handful of companies to grow into titans controlling vital avenues for our national discourse under the guise of promoting open forums for debate, and then to provide those behemoths blanket immunity when they use their power to censor content and silence viewpoints that they dislike. When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct. It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.

(b) To advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section, all executive departments and agencies should ensure that their application of section 230(c) properly reflects the narrow purpose of the section and take all appropriate actions in this regard. In addition, within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), in consultation with the Attorney General, and acting through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), shall file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that the FCC expeditiously propose regulations to clarify:

(i) the interaction between subparagraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of section 230, in particular to clarify and determine the circumstances under which a provider of an interactive computer service that restricts access to content in a manner not specifically protected by subparagraph (c)(2)(A) may also not be able to claim protection under subparagraph (c)(1), which merely states that a provider shall not be treated as a publisher or speaker for making third-party content available and does not address the provider’s responsibility for its own editorial decisions;

(ii) the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are:

(A) deceptive, pretextual, or inconsistent with a provider’s terms of service; or

(B) taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard; and

(iii) any other proposed regulations that the NTIA concludes may be appropriate to advance the policy described in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 3. Protecting Federal Taxpayer Dollars from Financing Online Platforms That Restrict Free Speech. (a) The head of each executive department and agency (agency) shall review its agency’s Federal spending on advertising and marketing paid to online platforms. Such review shall include the amount of money spent, the online platforms that receive Federal dollars, and the statutory authorities available to restrict their receipt of advertising dollars.

(b) Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each agency shall report its findings to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(c) The Department of Justice shall review the viewpoint-based speech restrictions imposed by each online platform identified in the report described in subsection (b) of this section and assess whether any online platforms are problematic vehicles for government speech due to viewpoint discrimination, deception to consumers, or other bad practices.

Sec. 4. Federal Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices. (a) It is the policy of the United States that large online platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, as the critical means of promoting the free flow of speech and ideas today, should not restrict protected speech. The Supreme Court has noted that social media sites, as the modern public square, “can provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.” Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1737 (2017). Communication through these channels has become important for meaningful participation in American democracy, including to petition elected leaders. These sites are providing an important forum to the public for others to engage in free expression and debate. Cf. PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74, 85-89 (1980).

(b) In May of 2019, the White House launched a Tech Bias Reporting tool to allow Americans to report incidents of online censorship. In just weeks, the White House received over 16,000 complaints of online platforms censoring or otherwise taking action against users based on their political viewpoints. The White House will submit such complaints received to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

(c) The FTC shall consider taking action, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, to prohibit unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, pursuant to section 45 of title 15, United States Code. Such unfair or deceptive acts or practice may include practices by entities covered by section 230 that restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.

(d) For large online platforms that are vast arenas for public debate, including the social media platform Twitter, the FTC shall also, consistent with its legal authority, consider whether complaints allege violations of law that implicate the policies set forth in section 4(a) of this order. The FTC shall consider developing a report describing such complaints and making the report publicly available, consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 5. State Review of Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices and Anti-Discrimination Laws. (a) The Attorney General shall establish a working group regarding the potential enforcement of State statutes that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The working group shall also develop model legislation for consideration by legislatures in States where existing statutes do not protect Americans from such unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The working group shall invite State Attorneys General for discussion and consultation, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

(b) Complaints described in section 4(b) of this order will be shared with the working group, consistent with applicable law. The working group shall also collect publicly available information regarding the following:

(i) increased scrutiny of users based on the other users they choose to follow, or their interactions with other users;

(ii) algorithms to suppress content or users based on indications of political alignment or viewpoint;

(iii) differential policies allowing for otherwise impermissible behavior, when committed by accounts associated with the Chinese Communist Party or other anti-democratic associations or governments;

(iv) reliance on third-party entities, including contractors, media organizations, and individuals, with indicia of bias to review content; and

(v) acts that limit the ability of users with particular viewpoints to earn money on the platform compared with other users similarly situated.

Sec. 6. Legislation. The Attorney General shall develop a proposal for Federal legislation that would be useful to promote the policy objectives of this order.

Sec. 7. Definition. For purposes of this order, the term “online platform” means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.

Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Thoughtful commentary on this issue is welcomed below. Please keep the discussion civil and on-topic. Off-topic posts and ad hominem attacks will be deleted and those who post such comments will be moderated/blocked. Permanent loss of screen name could also result.

41 Comments

  1. When the obviously leftist Twitter starts meddling, as they’ve done, they are no longer a platform, but a publisher and, clearly, they should no longer be protected by Section 230.

    Twitter’s “Head of Site Integrity” is Yoel Roth. Here are some of his tweets:

    Mr. Objectivity.

    This was all started by Twitter applying a misleading warning label on a Trump tweet concerning mail-in voting fraud:

    There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed. The Governor of California is sending Ballots to millions of people, anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there, will get one. That will be followed up with professionals telling all of these people, many of whom have never even thought of voting before, how, and for whom, to vote. This will be a Rigged Election. No way!!

    Twitter’s label claimed:

    On Tuesday, President Trump made a series of claims about potential voter fraud after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an effort to expand mail-in voting in California during the COVID-19 pandemic. These claims are unsubstantiated, according to CNN, Washington Post and others. Experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.

    CNN and The Washington Post. Bastions of objectivity and fairness when it come to President Trump, for sure. /s

    Of course, Twitter has not appended a warning label on tweets from Chinese government representatives engaging in a propaganda campaign to blame the U.S. for the spread of coronavirus.

    Twitter also hasn’t bother to read The (also left-leaning) New York Times. And I quote:


    Votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show. Election officials reject almost 2 percent of ballots cast by mail, double the rate for in-person voting.

    Fraud in voting by mail is … vastly more prevalent than the in-person voting fraud that has attracted far more attention, election administrators say.

    Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.

    There is a bipartisan consensus that voting by mail, whatever its impact, is more easily abused than other forms. In a 2005 report signed by President Jimmy Carter and James A. Baker III, who served as secretary of state under the first President George Bush, the Commission on Federal Election Reform concluded, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”

    On the most basic level, absentee voting replaces the oversight that exists at polling places with something akin to an honor system.

    “Absentee voting is to voting in person,” Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has written, “as a take-home exam is to a proctored one.”

    Election administrators have a shorthand name for a central weakness of voting by mail. They call it granny farming.

    “The problem,” said Murray A. Greenberg, a former county attorney in Miami, “is really with the collection of absentee ballots at the senior citizen centers.” In Florida, people affiliated with political campaigns “help people vote absentee,” he said. “And help is in quotation marks.”

    Voters in nursing homes can be subjected to subtle pressure, outright intimidation or fraud. The secrecy of their voting is easily compromised. And their ballots can be intercepted both coming and going.

    The problem is not limited to the elderly, of course. Absentee ballots also make it much easier to buy and sell votes. In recent years, courts have invalidated mayoral elections in Illinois and Indiana because of fraudulent absentee ballots.

    Election law experts say that pulling off in-person voter fraud on a scale large enough to swing an election, with scores if not hundreds of people committing a felony in public by pretending to be someone else, is hard to imagine, to say nothing of exceptionally risky.

    There are much simpler and more effective alternatives to commit fraud on such a scale, said Heather Gerken, a law professor at Yale.

    “You could steal some absentee ballots or stuff a ballot box or bribe an election administrator or fiddle with an electronic voting machine,” she said. That explains, she said, “why all the evidence of stolen elections involves absentee ballots and the like.”

    The New York Times, October 6, 2012

    Twitter is heavily biased. Twitter is not a platform. Twitter does not qualify for Section 230 protection.

      1. Plus, there is Gab and Parler. It’s clear now that any conservative using Twitter is supporting a liberal platform. How long do we have to be smacked in the face by a liberal white glove before we take your business elsewhere?

    1. When the Constiution says “Congress shall make no law infringing freedom of speech,” “no law” means “no law.” — Justice Hugo Black.

      If there was ever doubt that the First Amendment applied to corporations, the Citizens United and Hobby Lobby cases ended that ambiguity. No American government agency has, or can have, authority to tell a private party what they can or cannot publish. Beyond that, no Executive Branch official or agency can amend a statute passed by Congress.

      1. Nothing need be amended, genius. Read the Executive Order.

        When an interactive computer service provider removes or restricts access to content and its actions do not meet the criteria of subparagraph (c)(2)(A), it is engaged in editorial conduct. It is the policy of the United States that such a provider should properly lose the limited liability shield of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) and be exposed to liability like any traditional editor and publisher that is not an online provider.

        Twitter is not a platform. Twitter’s editorial actions make it a publisher. Twitter does not qualify for Section 230 protection.

        1. By your own logic, the executive order is still crap, since the government can’t tell publishers what they can or can’t publish either. Just imagine if Obama released the exact same executive order, only it was about InfoWars or Breitbart or Blaze TV. You’d be calling for riots in the street, right?

          1. The issue isn’t about free speech. It is about liability. 230’s intent is to limit or eliminate liable suits if the internet publisher doesn’t edit or limit individual postings – I.e. no editorial input from Twitter, Google, Facebook. Once they apply their editorial bias by restricting commentary, they can be sued for liable. In other words, if you have a tack board at your restaurant and you don’t limit what people can post, you can’t be held liable for what a third party puts up which might be libelous. The poster can be held liable, not the owner of the tack board. In contrast, a publisher, who does vouch for the content published by various authors can be sued (as can the author). How is this a restriction on free speech? Should we just get rid of libel laws? Why shouldn’t Twitter, who admits to editing content, not be held to the same standards and McMillen or Random House?

        2. The President has no authority to declare “the policy of the United States.” The statute itself does that, and the Executive Branch cannot change adopted legislation.

          1. What the heck do think an executive order is? While rare before Bill Clinton, do a little research on how many executive orders Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump have issued. (Simple Google search – which may have a biased algorithm applied). I think you will find that Obama had the most, followed by Bush and Clinton. Trump is way down from these past presidents.

          2. What do you not understand. By the letter of the law, based on recent behavior, many social media companies do not qualify for 230 immunity from civil suits. Please read and make an effort to comprehend before embarrassing yourself

      2. Does that go for gun ownership?
        Fire in a crowded moviehouse?
        Sedition?
        Terroristic threats?

        Come on Mr. LawMouth, spew some more BS.
        Your diatribe is far more lethal than any pepper balls and smoke canisters I mean tear gas and rubber bullets (according to you).

        Beijing Betty at her finest…..again.

        1. Gun ownership isn’t regulated by the First Amendment. Fire hoaxes and terroristic threats are imminent threats to public safety. Sedition IS protected speech except under very limited circumstances.

          None of those apply to a Republican-led government requiring Democratic private citizens to promote pro-Republican messages. That is pretty clearly exactly the sort of thing the First Amendment was intended to prevent. You would say the same if the Obama Administration had required Breitbart to run Democrat op-eds.

          1. There is no requirement for anyone to “run” anything. But to qualify as a common carrier, you must not censor content. Your phone company is a common carrier, and cannot be sued for your crank calls, because they do not censor what you say; get it?

            1. Internet services are not common carriers, and never pretended to be. They have Terms of Service that unambiguously inform users that certain messages will not be carried. Their immunity is provided under a statute that actually requires them to censor certain materials (child pornography, incitements to violence, terrorist fundraising and recruitment messages, etc.). So, the question is not whether the services will act as censors, but what level of censorship is required or prohibited.

    2. The president’s response, to remove a provision that shields social media companies from liability, seems like it will accomplish the exact opposite of what he intends. If companies can more easily be held responsible for content posted on their sites, they will become even more vigilant, and many more of the president’s posts will be flagged or deleted. Which is all beside the point. Twitter is a private company that provides a service. As a customer, if you are unhappy with a company’s service, you are free to take your business elsewhere. That’s how capitalism works. If you don’t like Apple’s policies, buy an Android. Likewise, if a customer doesn’t abide by a company’s policies, the company should not hesitate to terminate their account. No shoes, no shirt, no service.

      1. The problem here is the scope of control of just the following companies: Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple. What percentage of control over access do you think these four companies exert? Who else exists? Locals.com?

  2. Before anyone falls off their chair, I agree that platforms should not be censoring. They should also not be held liable by what someone says, unless someone hacks an account.due to the platform’s negligence.

    Trump is just being self serving, and his EO is more narrowly tailored to him. So it’s still BS on him

    No surprise Apple, the censor, is joining a lawsuit against the reduction of censorship.

  3. Talking about Twitter being a Publisher or Platform and whether they are in violation of the law and how they are claiming “Nope, just Platform.” is one issue.

    The larger issue is that most POTUS Executive Orders are not lawful. POTUS can do them, sure, but that doesn’t make them lawful. DACA is not legal either, but Obama simply wrote his own law, with a feckless John Boehner at the helm of the House to give nothing but weak responses and a few overturned portions of it by the courts.

    There are a few ways in which Executive Orders can be overturned.

    POTUS can revoke them.
    Congress can act, but then of course guess who would veto their bill? Right, POTUS.
    Federal Courts can intervene, but rarely do. Well, as of late, many activist judges have done so, but still, it’s rare.

    Lawsuits on a POTUS Executive Order is typically the only hope of stopping them, regardless what issue it is.

    There are a lot of charts, sadly, that have a LOT of different figures for Executive Orders (or what these outlets “deem” an Executive Order. Bottom Line: FDR was the worst offender by any measure. He was also in office for 4 terms.

    We had President’s try to stack the SCOTUS with more justifies they could ram through more power to the Presidency, all sorts of really bad stuff.

    SIDE NOTE: I’ve had friends say Obama would run for a 3rd term, and try to become a Dictator. I’ve had others say the same of Trump. Truth be told, people need a bit more perspective than that biopic mis-understanding of how much power a President does and does not have. Sadly, power is continuing to slowly consolidate into the Presidency, and people look more and more to one person to save them. That’s folly and a King-like status this country should NEVER want.

    What we are witnessing right now – today – whether it be COVID or RIOTs hiding within protests, Federalism is growing stronger. 50 states doing 50 different things. From there we the people can decide were we want to live and what laws – or lawlessness – we want to live under. POTUS has largely only given guidelines to the Governors regarding COVID. Don’t like what your state has or has not done – go after your Governor, not POTUS.

  4. If they make twitter a “publisher” then they can freely ban trump and all his supporters. in fact they can do that now if they wanted, its a privately owned and operated company. they can ban or support anyone they want.

    1. You are right. However, other companies would step in to the fray. I believe the GAFT companies went way past the concept of monopoly many years ago. If they want remain a platform, then behave as one. If the want to put their finger on the scale, let them pay the legal price. Trump is right on this issue. Free speech is being compromised by the monopolistic practices on the four big companies.

    1. Prepare to be surprised as Trump enjoys a landslide victory. Also where are the massive Covid breakout from the riots? Will they happen? If they don’t, what does that tell us??

      1. He just squeaked by the first time, actually losing the popular vote by almost 3 million. That’s almost 2% of voters. And there were a few states where he won by only a few thousand votes. Sounds like you’re assuming that everyone who voted for Trump the first time will do the same again, and in addition, he’s picked up a large number of new supporters since then. I’d say that’s a questionable assumption.

    2. I wouldn’t count Buster as a “defender of the Bill of Rights.” Name calling, biased opinion. His Constitutional right, but not someone I would waste too much time listening to!

      1. Biased opinion? Your current Vichy government (yes senate repugnicans) supports a divisive president that abuses executive powers for what? A stupid photo-op holding a bible? Look around. Trump is losing ground in every polling category. It’s over. When those same senators truly realize that he is finished, they will turn on him faster than Brutus on Caesar. Wake up sycophants and smell the coffee.

  5. I’ve had an ongoing issue with Facebook blocking links to a client’s website because FB, in their infinite, unilateral wisdom, has decided something violates their Community Standards. They won’t tell us what is violated, they won’t tell us how to fix it, and there is no one at FB to talk to or petition. This is a nonprofit client that is all about love and care.

    So when I hear Zuckerberg in one sentence say how vehemently opposed he is to Trump’s statemenst, and then in another sentence say that its best to leave Trump’s posts up, I get ridiculously angry. He wants us to know, “hey, I’m a good guy because I told you I personally disagree with Trump’s statement, but I’m really an actionless, two-faced pussy.” Facebook is NOT a governmental organization. If they are going to curate and profit off of their community, at least be as morally and ethically consistent in their business as they are personally. That’s what integrity as ALL about.

    FOAD Zuckerberg! He’s a child in an adult world.

    I believe that Twitter’s approach showed integrity and wisdom.

    1. “I believe that Twitter’s approach showed integrity and wisdom.”

      I hope you’re joking, right? You either apply the policy to all individuals or none at all. Otherwise, it’s called censorship. When a company does that, it no longer is a platform. It has become a publisher and are no longer subjected to Section 230.

        1. Nearly everyone hear understands they are private companies who have the right to edit or ban who ever they like. However, when they do this, they should be treated as publishers – with the potential liabilities that in tails – rather than be treated as a liability free platform. This is common sense. Again, a neutral bulletin board owner shouldn’t be punished for what some whack job posts. On the other hand, if I publish someone else’s book that makes claims that you are a pedophile (with no proof), then you should rightly be allowed to sue the hell out of the publisher. All of this is settled free speech law. All Trump saying in his EO is if a company begins editing content they have become a publisher. As a publisher, you and I can now sue the snot out of them.

          1. About the only Internet community bulletin board that comes even close to the definition of qualifiying for impartiality is Craigslist, lol. Facebook, Twitter and the rest of them have a moral and ethical imperative to do the right thing because of the pivotal nature of the information they do or don’t include, and do or don’t flag. If you are making money off it and marketing the crap out of it to increase engagement, then you own it, period. Flagging and fact checking, imho, is not censorship, btw.

            Facebook censors, all day long, by the way, behind their so-called Community Standards. Totally duplicitous.

            If they all need to be requalified as publishers, so be it. I am tired of the oversized place social media has in our lives. Too much of a good thing inevitably goes bad. Now where’s my rotary dial phone…

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