What kind of bargain could they strike? "Well, we're going to have YouTube ban sexists but allow unlimited racist content. Ok, deal?" It's hard for me to picture any amendment of section 230 that would be both material and palatable to both sides. Not to mention that there's the whole constitutionality question, where corporations have enhanced rights of political speech post Citizen's United, and any legislative infringement on that can probably be challenged all the way to the top.
I just want to observe that the position of "conservative" Republicans is to insert the hand of a central government to limit the operations of a private company, and the Democrats are taking the self-regulation stance, the "hands-off option," if you will.
Federal legislators on both sides believe that federal legislatures should have more powers, and they usually get them. That's the real history of American regulation.
While Republicans generally push for less regulation than Democrats do, for them it's more about protecting business profit, not about an ideal of non-interference (even if they may try to frame it that way for PR reasons).
The existence of which there is no proof of. And which is entirely legal to do anyway, though short-sighted from a business perspective.
...which so far appears to be necessary. Sure, FB announced yesterday that they are banning "LOL voting machines steal ur 401K" ads, but all of these announcements are really well past their sell-by dates, and Facebook has established repeatedly that they will be the last ones to do anything. I doubt we're ever going to "holy shit!" about them.
From the right's point of view, that's the desired effect. The right is already being deplatformed. Removing 230 protections means everyone is deplatformed. That will kill their businesses as companies with 230 protection can outcompete them. Scorched earth policy.
However, this is only because the right wanted to classify these things as the public square, and therefore subject to first amendment protection. The left claims this is private business and not subject to first amendment.
A judge in the WeChat download ban case just handed Trump a public square ruling. It will be interesting to see if they do anything with that or continue with scorched earth instead. At this point, I think the right wants to see these leftist silicon valley companies punished, so a public square ruling may be too little too late.
Senators and congresspersons ask a question, the executive starts to answer, the senator/congressperson interrupts because they have to move on to the next question for lack of time. They then yield. Repeat. Many questions asked, none answered.
Few things are as idiotic as this format, even taking into account the pharisaic nature of it all.
The below is from the article which applies specifically to your point:
> Cut the cameras. Most of what happens in committee hearings isn’t oversight, it’s showmanship. Senators make speeches that get chopped up, shipped to home-state TV stations, and blasted across social media. They aren’t trying to learn from witnesses, uncover details, or improve legislation. They’re competing for sound bites.
> There’s one notable exception: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the majority of whose work is done in secret. Without posturing for cameras, Republicans and Democrats cooperate on some of America’s most complicated and urgent problems. Other committees could follow their example, while keeping transparency by making transcripts and real-time audio available to the public.
As anywhere else, work doesn't get done in meetings, work that has been done prior gets approved or rejected in meetings.
Public meetings (with or without cameras, and even if the main public access is by public record) add showmanship to justify/excuse the action (or ones position for or against whatever becomes the committee action), but they aren't what puts the substantive work outside of the meetings. That's just how meetings, pretty invariably, work.
The issue with Congressional hearings is that not one person has recently been punished for perjury under oath. Actually press charges, convict, and levy a sentence and watch how the atmosphere magically changes. If the legislature continues to be something seen as having no teeth, this poor behavior will continue without end.
It's to beat up on a CEO or two for 5 minutes and tweet out the clip to your followers. And for that, it's time well spent.
Simply put, for the majority out here, improvement is absolutely futile. They truly, genuinely, simply do not care. At most, if you can get through to them what's actually happening, you'll be glad to know that they'll quite happily want to double down on support of them, just to fuck people who want to "improve" things over.
I've personally become utterly cynical towards it. Leaded gasoline and paint, among other things, was just too much of a hell of a drug. It's going to take a generation or two and the majority of the current base to die out before improvement can happen. Very shitty reality. Some who haven't seen it will find it unfathomable, but I can't blame them.
I'm just trying to get the fuck away from all of this as fast as I can, though I'm failing miserably.
Sorry to be so pessimistic.
I wonder what a Washington insider would say about them. What is their real purpose? It's obviously not information gathering, as letters are a more efficient mechanism. Publicity, sure, but for who? Who watches CSPAN? Is it a signalling mechanism to say, "Tech CEOs, we're really mad now?" Or are the senators following the news rather than driving it? I can't tell.
My best guess is that it's a soundbite generation mechanism. But that seems so cynical. It's a pretty brutish practice if so.
Direct the heat in public, pass the hat in private. Campaigns are expensive.
To me, the REALLY depressing thing about our representative republic isn't that it can be bought -- when it was designed to be above such things -- it's that it can be bought so revoltingly cheaply, relatively speaking.
Maybe we're going to get an awkward and idiosyncratic question about Rust as the highlight of the day (which HN loves despite the fact that the question came from nowhere and went nowhere). Or maybe the head of Google will teach senators how to use their iPhones, just like last time.
Senate is full of old people that struggle with internet 101. The previous attempt to grill the zuck was a farce.
Google & co are in need of ass kicking but this is not the way
> The three chief executives had initially been invited to attend voluntarily, but declined.
Unclear who did the declining though. Maybe it should say "but they declined".
It is true that private companies are allowed to publish what they want.
But, if they are acting as publishers, then maybe we should treat them like publishers, and hold them responsible for the content that they publish.
If, on the other hand, they want to receive protections for acting like a "platform", then perhaps they should be required to actually act like a platform.
I never made any comment about what the law is. Instead I only made comments about what should be.
Those protection will prevent many more things if those protections are changed.
Literally the purpose of these senate subpoenas is to re-evaluate these laws.
> Section 230 doesn't actually require platforms
They will require more things if they get changed to do so, which is the entire point of all this discussion, lol.
Thats the point of all of this. To re-evaluate what these protections should be, and to engage in legislative action.