FCC Chairman rolls over for Trump – will attack Facebook and Twitter

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is backing President Donald Trump’s proposal to limit legal protections for social media websites that block or modify content posted by users. Pai’s views on the matter were unknown until…he issued a statement saying that he will open a rule-making process to clarify that, despite the First Amendment, social media companies do not have “special immunity” for their content-moderation decisions

…(A) Trump administration’s petition asked the FCC to limit social media companies’ legal protections under Section 230 by changing the definition of “information content provider.” The requested change would define the term more broadly to include platforms that make “editorial decisions that modify or alter content.” That could convert Facebook and Twitter from “interactive computer services” to “information content providers,” limiting their legal protections when they block or screen content…

Both FCC Democrats today criticized Pai’s announcement. “The timing of this effort is absurd. The FCC has no business being the president’s speech police,” Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said.

Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said, “We’re in the midst of an election. The president’s executive order on Section 230 was politically motivated and legally unsound. The FCC shouldn’t do the president’s bidding here.”…

In addition to being opposed by the FCC’s Democratic minority, Trump’s petition did not even have full support from the FCC’s Republican majority. Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly stated that the FCC must uphold First Amendment speech protections “that apply to corporate entities, especially when they engage in editorial decision making.”

After O’Rielly’s comments, Trump took the unusual step of pulling O’Rielly’s nomination to another FCC term…

Unusual for someone intended to represent the people of this nation broadly instead of just the nutballs ranging from QAnon to your friendly neighborhood fascists.

The illusion of improving social media platforms

By Om Malik

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Tinbergen, writing for the Washington Post have applauded the social media platforms’ recent efforts to reign in “hate speech, misinformation and posts that potentially incite violence.” These posts were coming from the US president and many of his supporters. When asked what I thought of this step forward, here is what I told them:

“A lot of what has been previously thought of as fringe behavior has been brought to center stage by these platforms. They’ve been complicit for a very long time. You can ban a few people — even the president — but on platforms that have a billion people, there are so many dark corners. And instead of coming up with a solution for the entire network, they are banning individuals.

The Washington Post (Subscription Required.)

I have been screaming in the wind for a long time — and will say this again. The incentives to undertake real change aren’t there for these platforms. Most of them will have to retweak and re-imagine their algorithms. They won’t do that because, in doing so, they will have to move away from the current model of monetizing attention and engagement from advertising.

It will undermine how they make money, and thus there is no upside for anyone — including Facebook to Twitter to YouTube. So what do they do? They do the equivalent of re-arranging the chairs on the deck of a listing ship. People applaud them for doing something. They get some good publicity. And soon enough, the world moves on to another outrage.

Say it, again, my brother!

Judge rules Devin Nunes can’t sue Twitter over statements by fake cow

That has to be the headline of the week!


Mother Jones

A judge has ruled that Rep. Devin Nunes has no right to sue Twitter over statements made by a fake Internet cow, someone parodying his mother and a Republican strategist.

Judge John Marshall said in a decision Friday that Twitter was “immune from the defamation claims of” Nunes, R-Tulare, due to federal law that says social media companies are not liable for what people post on their platforms…

Nunes “seeks to have the court treat Twitter as the publisher or speaker of the content provided by others based on its allowing or not allowing certain content to be on its internet platform,” Marshall wrote. “The court refuses to do so…”

Absolutely hilarious. A pleasure to see this happen to Congress’ creepiest version of what passes for a Republican conservative, nowadays.

Twitter now a quiet island on the global map of crap paid political advertising

❝ Twitter will no longer run political ads, CEO Jack Dorsey announced Wednesday, a move that comes as fellow social media giant Facebook faces rising heat over its policy of allowing candidates to lie in their campaign messaging.

❝ Twitter is removing itself from that contentious tangle as U.S. political campaigns prepare to spend vast sums of money on online advertising around the 2020 elections. The new policy applies worldwide, not just in the U.S., and to issue ads as well as ads run by specific political campaigns.

Hallelujah!

Caribbean Vikings happy to leave Trump’s Amerika

❝ President Donald Trump has been joking recently about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland. But now it’s Puerto Ricans who are the ones laughing — and many say they’d be happy with the trade.

Some called themselves the “Caribbean Vikings” and others shared all the benefits they would have if they stopped being a U.S. territory and became an autonomous Danish territory…

❝ “Denmark is the country with the best education in the world,” a man wrote on Twitter.

A Puerto Rican podcaster, known as Nieto, shared what some labeled as the Danish “Starter Kit.”

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!