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posted by janrinok on Friday January 20 2023, @07:49AM   Printer-friendly

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to reconsider rules social networks operate under, potentially leading to the most significant reset of the doctrines governing online speech since the 1990s:

For years, giant social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have operated under two crucial tenets.

The first is that the platforms have the power to decide what content to keep online and what to take down, free from government oversight. The second is that the websites cannot be held legally responsible for most of what their users post online, shielding the companies from lawsuits over libelous speech, extremist content and real-world harm linked to their platforms.

[...] On Friday, the Supreme Court is expected to discuss whether to hear two cases that challenge laws in Texas and Florida barring online platforms from taking down certain political content. Next month, the court is scheduled to hear a case that questions Section 230, a 1996 statute that protects the platforms from liability for the content posted by their users.

[...] The cases are part of a growing global battle over how to handle harmful speech online. In recent years, as Facebook and other sites attracted billions of users and became influential communications conduits, the power they wielded came under increasing scrutiny. Questions arose over how the social networks might have unduly affected elections, genocides, wars and political debates.

[...] If the Supreme Court's justices decide to hear the challenges, they could move to take the cases immediately for the court's term ending in June or for its next term, which runs from October until the summer of 2024.

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Original Submission

Related Stories

Myanmar Activists Say Facebook Aids Genocide 68 comments

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

As tens of millions of Americans come to grips with revelations that data from Facebook may have been used to sway the 2016 presidential election, on the other side of the world, rights groups say hatemongers have taken advantage of the social network to widely disseminate inflammatory, anti-Muslim speech in Myanmar.

The rhetoric is aimed almost exclusively at the disenfranchised Rohingya Muslim minority, a group which has been the target of a sustained campaign of violence and abuse by the Myanmar military, which claims it is targeting terrorists.

Human rights activists inside the country and out tell CNN that posts range from recirculated news articles from pro-government outlets, to misrepresented or faked photos and anti-Rohingya cartoons.

[...] Zuckerberg told Vox hate speech is "a real issue, and we want to make sure that all of the tools that we're bringing to bear on eliminating hate speech, inciting violence, and basically protecting the integrity of civil discussions that we're doing in places like Myanmar, as well as places like the US that do get a disproportionate amount of the attention."

Source: When Facebook becomes 'the beast': Myanmar activists say social media aids genocide


Original Submission

Russia Complains About Facebook And Google Election Ads 17 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Russia has complained to both Facebook and Google, claiming adverts they circulated "interfered" with elections in the country.

The adverts were seen on social media and the web while local elections were under way in Russia this weekend.

Facebook said Russia should talk to advertisers, who were responsible for complying with local laws.

Google said it supported "responsible" political advertising that complied with Russian laws.

Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor said Google and Facebook had flouted its demand to ban political advertising while voting was under way across the country.

"Such actions can be seen as interference in Russia's sovereign affairs and hindering the conduct of democratic elections in the Russian Federation," it said in a statement.

Russian laws put strict limits on when political adverts can be run and demands they are not seen while elections are ongoing.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 20 2023, @03:25PM (7 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @03:25PM (#1287738) Journal

    expected to discuss whether to hear two cases that challenge laws in Texas and Florida barring online platforms from taking down certain political content.

    [ . . . . ]

    The cases are part of a growing global battle over how to handle harmful speech online.

    Political content should not be harmful speech. Harmful speech is not political content, unless your politics have no place in the real world.

    I thought political content was ideas, concepts about policies and how to govern. There can be reasonable disagreements and debates about how much or how little we should tax billionaires, or how much pollution we should put into our drinking water, how many babies per day democrats are allowed to eat, etc. None of that political content should be harmful.

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    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by mcgrew on Friday January 20 2023, @07:18PM (6 children)

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday January 20 2023, @07:18PM (#1287773) Homepage Journal

      You never heard of Nazism? That was a POLITICAL party in Germany, and look how that turned out. Of course political speech can be harmful! You never heard of the 1/6 insurrection? That was completely caused by incredibly harmful and false political speech. Note that a coup is a political action, and calls to violence are political speech.

      I'm against threats to free speech but I'm more against threats to logic and reason like you demonstrate.

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      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Friday January 20 2023, @10:04PM (2 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 20 2023, @10:04PM (#1287810) Journal

        So Nazism was political, but does it have any place in this world? Apparently not. Most of the world went to war to get rid of it.

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        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday January 21 2023, @02:00PM (1 child)

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday January 21 2023, @02:00PM (#1287891) Homepage Journal

          But it still exists. It's not dead, not wiped from the face of the Earth, not even has a runny nose. If you're not American, you might not know about this Nazi rally [wikipedia.org] where one of the Nazis ran over a woman and killed her.

          If Nazism had actually died, Germany wouldn't need laws against displaying its symbolism. The Nazis live, and aren't even sleeping.

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          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Sunday January 22 2023, @10:29PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 22 2023, @10:29PM (#1288097) Journal

            I didn't say it was dead. I don't believe I did. There are plenty of MAGA (made in china) hat wearers with Nazi flags or shirts.

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      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by darkfeline on Saturday January 21 2023, @12:43AM (2 children)

        by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday January 21 2023, @12:43AM (#1287826) Homepage

        It doesn't matter if it can be harmful. Prosecute the crime, not the pre-crime. If someone commits violence, prosecute them for the violence, no matter if it is because of Nazism or social justice. If they do not, then do not.

        Let them talk in peace and arrest the ones using violence to silence them.

        Fiat justitia ruat caelum.

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        • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday January 21 2023, @02:06PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday January 21 2023, @02:06PM (#1287892) Homepage Journal

          Note, I'm not for outlawing harmful or any other speech, and agree that those espousing hate shouldn't be jailed, but the victims who victimized because his hateful speech caused actual harm should be able to sue for damages.

          Surely you don't believe that the parents of the dead children shouldn't be able to sue Alex Jones for his lies that harmed already devastated families? Your words have consequences, and those harmed by them should have recourse against the speaker.

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        • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Saturday January 21 2023, @04:13PM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Saturday January 21 2023, @04:13PM (#1287915) Journal

          Mostly agreed, with one (already existing!) caveat: incitement to violence or terrorism *is not free speech.*

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