Kellyanne Conway: "Twitter cannot suppress voices" -- Re: Censorship: France Says Goodbye to Free Speech

lolwut lolwut9001 at
Fri May 29 08:55:48 PDT 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: cypherpunks [mailto:cypherpunks-bounces at] On Behalf Of Zenaan Harkness
Sent: Thursday, 28 May, 2020 9:55 PM
To: cypherpunks at
Subject: Re: Kellyanne Conway: "Twitter cannot suppress voices" -- Re: Censorship: France Says Goodbye to Free Speech

>   Trump Signs Executive Order Stripping Social Media Companies Of "Liability Shield" 

>      .. For what it's worth, a report published last night claimed that the White House didn't consult the FCC on these new guidelines.

>      .. Though we doubt Commissioner Ajit Pai will have any serious objections to the plan.

>      .. Finally, it appears the Executive order does not quite go as far as to call for direct reversals of Section 230 protections... though handing it over to the FCC may well be the warning shot across the social media giants' bows that they need. As Jonathan Turley noted:

>        The expectation is that the Trump executive order on social media will include a review of Section 230 of the Federal Communications Act for the possible elimination of protections for Twitter and other social media companies. The effort would be hard to succeed without congressional action. As a private actor, Twitter is not the subject of the First Amendment but the President and his administration are.  There are also separation of powers concerns with any unilateral or constructive amendment of Section 230.

>         Trump in my view is right in condemning the action of Twitter. The focus should be on the company's assault on free speech principles. Anyone who values free speech on the Internet and social media should be appalled by this action regardless of their feelings about Pres. Trump.


>      .. Update (1550ET):  During a press conference where President Trump signed an executive order pressuring social media companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter to stop showing political bias. The order is meant to chip away at the "liability shield" these platforms enjoy thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.


>      AG Barr, who was also in attendance, said Section 230 "was stretched way beyond its original intention...its purpose was to allow websites that were acting virtually as bulletin boards were not responsible for third-party information...". When they "curate" their collection and start "censoring" particular content, they become publishers, and they shouldn't be entitled to the same kind of shield that was set up earlier. He also explained how the executive order sets up a "rule making procedure for the FCC" to try and "get back to the original interpretation" of Section 230.

>      It also encourages state attorneys general to come up with "model" legislation addressing this at the state level.

>      "Currently social media platforms like twitter enjoy a liability shield because they are a 'neutral platform' - which they are media companies who engage in editing or censorship will be stripped of this shield, while companies will be punished should they engage in any "deceptive" acts. Federal agencies will also be barred from buying advertising on these platforms - a direct attack on their bottom line.


Zenaan, I cannot believe you are supporting this. I sincerely hope that it is not simply because Trump is the one doing it.

I remember about a year ago that there were cries from the PC left to modify/repeal Section 230 because they were whining about such nonsense as too much "hate speech" or otherwise "offensive" speech on social media sites. Obviously they were against free speech, but now that Trump is against 230, are you and the rest of the right suddenly against, too?

Of course Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have shown themselves to be pro-censorship over these past years, and I wish every day that they would simply ignore the screeching of the left-wing journalists and continue being open and robust forums for discussion. It is certainly bad that they censor, but it is even worse that government should now strip them of their 230 protections.

The best course of action is to boycott, or simply abandon, those platforms when they censor too much. Section 230 protects online free speech -- why else do you think the left made such a fuss about it a year ago?

See also

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