Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Twitter's purge of accounts associated with a certain conspiracy theory draws more unfavorable attention to Section 230

Hoeg Law has an important video today, “Twitter vs. Qanon: Big Tech Censorhip, CDA230, and Sreisand”.

He is referring to Twitter’s new safety policy regarding “coordinated harm” and some fraudulent accounts that were talking about Qanon (the conspiracy theory about “deep state” that led to PizzaGate in December 2016).

Twitter Safety details its actions in a thread. Apparently it will ban links to Qanon sites; it is very unusual to ban mere hyperlinking to lawful material.  Twitter is also deciding that his one "group" or "ideology" is more "dangerous" than others (as Facebook did with some groups and individuals in 2018). 

Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a descriptive article in Reason.

Ben Collins et al give more details on NBC News.

Hoeg points out that CDA230, however ironically, facilitates Twitter’s selective moderation without downstream liability. 

But the actions it takes may become so capricious that users will have no reasonable way to guess when they are crossing the line.

Hoeg feels Twitter’s action will further embolden Biden to try to cancel Section 230. He also points out that a policy like this merely draws more people to want to know about it, the Streisand Effect. 

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