Reviews | The law that shaped the internet asks Elon Musk a question

So a Musk-owned Twitter would still ban content — it would just ban less. I can imagine more tweets falsely claiming the Capitol invasion was a media fabrication or a false flag operation. Franks, the law professor, joins others in speculating that Twitter under Musk would actually be more likely to restrict content that angered one particular person — Musk himself. Similarly, Trump’s Truth Social platform is unlikely to become a hotbed for Trump critics.

Kosseff, of the Naval Academy, said conservatives and libertarians are making a mistake calling for an end to Section 230 because they don’t like the protections it provides for platforms they believe discriminatory against them. If they didn’t have legal immunity, the platforms would most likely play it safe by banning even more content to avoid being sued, he said.

Meanwhile, mostly Democratic lawmakers who want tighter controls on content have failed. The Safe Tech Act sponsored by Democratic Senators Mark Warner of Virginia, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would remove immunity from paid material on social platforms and expose them to lawsuits based on civil law, human rights human and antitrust law, among others. It did not reach the Senate floor.

And a law proposed and ultimately signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, to ban social media sites from banning political candidate content was blocked by a federal judge last year.

Matt Stoller, an enemy of Big Tech and monopolies in general, wrote Thursday that Section 230 should be removed entirely so that platforms become fully responsible for all content posted on them.

It’s a big step and probably unlikely.

For now, the fight over what to do about Twitter and other platforms is at an impasse. Whether owned by Musk or not, Twitter cannot overcome deep divisions and mistrust in society, said Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. It can turn up content moderation and please liberals or turn it down and please conservatives and libertarians, but “there’s no place on that slider that will make all supporters happy,” he said.

Thank you for your insightful April 8 article on professional licensing, which recognizes the barriers that licensing requirements create for people of color. I am sponsoring an Afghan refugee who owned and operated a high end hair salon and hair salon in Kabul. He showed me a portfolio of haircuts from satisfied customers. However, he is unable to obtain a license here because he has not completed the required coursework from an accredited cosmetology program in the United States. He cleans the rooms of a hotel. There are thousands of other refugees and immigrants like him. What a shame – for them, and for the consumers who would benefit from their services.


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