There's been a lot of talk about "Section 230" and what it means/does. In essence, it protects an online publishing tool - like Twitter or Facebook or Blogger - from being liable/responsible for the content posted by users of that tool.
A rough equivalence is that T-Mobile can't be held liable for what you say on a phone call using their network, so Twitter can't be punished for spreading your BS; they just provide the tool, they don't police the content.
On the other hand, traditional publishers - like the New York Times, let's say - can be held liable for the content they publish and suffer civil and criminal penalties for that content.
In a typical Republican/conservative misunderstanding of technology, conservatives have been pushing to "repeal section 230" in the hopes that it will stop Twitter fact-checking Trump (et al) and just allow them to say whatever crazy shit they want to say, anywhere, at any time.
The reality though, is quite different.
If Section 230 was eliminated tomorrow, FB, Twitter, Reddit, and all those online tools would be responsible for the content posted to their sites, and they would crack down on absolutely EVERYTHING in an effort to protect themselves. In fact, I can't envision a model where Twitter or FB could survive a reinterpretation of Section 230... how can they possibly vet every single post by billions of people for accuracy/veracity, when they can't even manage to police their current content streams for blatantly illegal content?
But here's the thing, and why I want to discuss this with Hubskites...
I'm kinda on board with the idea of eliminating section 230 protections for social media sites, and making them adhere to the same publishing standards that have existed for a century for publishing in every other format (print, video, radio, etc.).
It would, of course, instantly destroy FB, Twitter, Reddit, TikTok, and every other social media tool you can name. (Sadly, Hubski, too.) They would have to shut down immediately.
Which would result in huge layoffs of tech workers.
And generate an entirely new - and unimaginably vast - market for something, or MANY somethings, to rise in place of our current model of social media.
Essentially, we'd go back to BBSes... each individual would have their own "server" which they were entirely responsible for the content of, and they could manage/monitor/control it however they wanted to.
This is quite an exhilarating thought, to me...
Thousands and thousands of programmers and software designers released from the constraints of the status quo, to go an invent and innovate and think up new shit.
The Google Cloud, Azure, AWS, etc., could quickly pivot to a consumer model, so people could set up their own little publishing/link environments using these newly invented tools, so people wouldn't have to go back to having a MacSE in the closet running the Red Ryder Host BBS... they'd have modern tools (SaaS apps) that ran on modern devices like cell phones, etc. The elusive "click and deploy" type of server environment we SysAdmins have always wished for but never quite got. (WordPress got REALLY close, though...)
But here's my myopia/problem...
I really screwed the pooch with my privileged worldview a while ago here on Hubski, when I thought everyone should be forced to use their real names / own everything they ever post.
I'm pretty sure I'm doing the same thing here, and glossing over aspects of dropping section 230 that would adversely affect non-middle-aged-hetero-white-male-west-coasters ... but I'm not seeing it. My rose tinted glasses are REALLY dark, because I tend to be an eternal optimist about everything. (Probably due to living my formative years in the idealistic Silicon Valley tech industry of the 1980/90's.)
What are your thoughts on Section 230? Why is it appropriate that this only applies to tech companies and not traditional media? What happens to your own 'outsider' community when 230 goes away? Why isn't TinCan the answer to everything you just said? (j/k)