The tech behemoth Facebook has admitted that it is a publisher while defending its arbitrary censorship of banished journalist Laura Loomer, according to court documents.
Facebook banned Loomer’s account from their platform during a purge of popular conservative voices that happened in May. Others targeted by the purge included Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson. Loomer is striking back with a lawsuit that is unearthing some interesting revelations about the social media monolith.
“Under well-established law, neither Facebook nor any other publisher can be liable for failing to publish someone else’s message,” Facebook’s attorneys wrote.
Lol Laura Loomer got Zuckerberg to admit to being a publisher. Good work Laura pic.twitter.com/8JECWLruAZ
— holiday on parade (@holiday_99) September 18, 2019
Facebook actually has the audacity to claim that their 1st Amendment rights are being violated by Loomer’s lawsuit, in a total contorting of reality. They have filed a motion to dismiss the case.
“She claims Facebook labeled her as a ‘dangerous’ person who promotes hate – yet, the First Amendment has long protected such statements because they are opinions that are not capable of being proven true or false,” Facebook’s attorneys claim in their dismissal motion.
Right now, Facebook is protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act from being held liable for the content published on their platform. This special exemption worked fine when the social network engaged in relative neutrality, but those days are no more as Big Tech is at war with conservative and pro-Trump voices.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced legislation to reform Section 230 and make the special immunity privileges contingent on Facebook and other tech providers remaining non-biased in how they curate content on their platforms:
As it states right now, Section 230 states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
Howley’s bill, the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act, would remove that exemption for Big Tech firms if they act like publishers instead of neutral platforms. Corporations would have to comply with external audits proving their algorithms and content moderation are not biased.
“With Section 230, tech companies get a sweetheart deal that no other industry enjoys: complete exemption from traditional publisher liability in exchange for providing a forum free of political censorship,” Hawley said in a statement. “Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, big tech has failed to hold up its end of the bargain.”
“There’s a growing list of evidence that shows big tech companies making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints they disagree with,” Hawley added. “Even worse, the entire process is shrouded in secrecy because these companies refuse to make their protocols public. This legislation simply states that if the tech giants want to keep their government-granted immunity, they must bring transparency and accountability to their editorial processes and prove that they don’t discriminate.”
Facebook is being increasingly forced to admit damaging information about its business model due to various lawsuits filed against the embattled corporation.
“There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy,” Facebook attorney Orin Snyder admitted in court back in June, while describing the social network as a “digital town square” of sorts.
Facebook is providing ammunition for its critics to build a case to change the regulations so they can no longer inflict the Orwellian nightmare upon conservatives.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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