Friday, March 29, 2019

Congress Homeland Security committee warns about extending platform liability for terror content

Jason Kelly and Aaron Mackey have an important warning essay today (March 29, 2019) on the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, “Don’t Repeat FOSTA’s Mistakes”, here

House Homeland Security Chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) wrote a constituent letter warning platforms that he might press for further weakening of Section 230 protections regarding terrorist content. 

The EFF article points out that filters don’t know how to distinguish advocacy from meta-speech:  urging a destructive behavior is not the same thing as discussion about the behavior.  It might be easier in some foreign languages (than in English) were verb conjugation endings for subjunctive mood makes context clearer than is possible in English.

There is also a problem with literacy of human readers, who don’t understand that mention of something by an amateur speaker (when not representing an established non-profit) is not the same thing as advocacy.
There are those who urge, “why not just raise money for an organization to be your voice”.  Yes, really.  The Left is not ashamed to do this, conservatives (non-identarian) generally are more susceptbile to seeing the need for forced solidarity as personally shameful 
We’ll have to watch for Homeland Security hearings on this problem.

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