But if now they're manually deciding who goes on their network and who doesn't, it seems like they're more responsible for everything else that's on it that they allow.
They're a private company and I support them choosing to do business with whoever they want, but I thought there was some sort of legal distinction if they were totally agnostic to what travels over their wires. Is that not the case?
The opposite is true. CDA 230 makes it clear that companies can moderate their content without becoming responsible for it.
Are you sure you heard the argument correctly?
> If Facebook were to start creating or editing content on its platform, it would risk losing that immunity
> If Facebook is going to behave like a media provider, picking and choosing what viewpoints to represent, then it’s hard to argue that the company should still have immunity from the legal constraints that old-media organizations live with.
This is all nonsense. Old-media organizations are protected by CDA 230 just like everyone else: they can host third party content like user comments without being liable for it.
Publishers being able to "censor" is the whole value proposition for having a publisher. You're paying for the NYT because it picks who to publish. Facebook has no special "platform" protections that anyone else doesn't get.
Many, many people seem to think that CDA 230 itself makes a distinction between "platforms" and "publishers". I even replied to someone here in this comment section:
The second one is asking "should they" - its asking a question not positing a fact.
Should they get immunity for what posted if its clear they have the capacity to censor at will? Why should they and not anyone else on the internet?
CDA makes a distinction between publisher and platform and the talk about this whole issue is that many people are saying that these companies can clearly police their content, and should be liable for it and not specially protected.
Where does the CDA make a platform/publisher distinction? What is the definition of the difference, and where is it in the law?
As Techdirt says, "This "publisher" v. "platform" concept is a totally artificial distinction that has no basis in the law.". Are they wrong?
> I thought there was some sort of legal distinction if they were totally agnostic to what travels over their wires. Is that not the case?
Not as far as I'm aware, no. The closest thing I can think of is if they were discriminating based on people's membership in a protected class, eg, if they announced a strict "no female clients" policy. This is clearly vastly different.
From a PR point of view, yes, every time they kick someone off for being bad, the more their failing to kick someone off will be seen as an implicit endorsement. But again, that ship has sailed.
I think it's unconstitutional and the worst thing to happen to the internet in many years, as well as one of the worst things to happen to civil liberties (which is a pretty high bar!). Unfortunately, it passed senate 97 votes to 2, which suggests legislative fixes will not be coming soon.
For the record, gender isn't a protected class in a place of public accommodation and it's why clubs in Las Vegas can charge Men more than Women.
I just know I'll remember that cloudflare could pull the pulg on my site if one of my users posts something they don't like. I don't think I can recommend their service to any of clients because of that.