Freedom to not say stuff

Yoused

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There has been a bit of a kerfuffle over the internet and who is allowed to say what, when and where. For reference here is the original Texas tale of the
The 5th Circuit Court lifted an injunction on a social media regulation law passed by the Texas Lege and immediately enjoined by a district judge.
Texas Republicans passed their internet censorship bill, known as H.B. 20, in the fall of 2021. Its sponsors said that the legislation was necessary to prevent “West Coast oligarchs” from silencing “conservative viewpoints and ideas.” … The bill applies to social media companies with “more than 50 million active users” in the U.S. each month, like Twitter, YouTube, and Meta, that operate in Texas. … It states that these companies may not “censor” a user’s expression on the basis of their “viewpoint,” whether that “viewpoint” is expressed on the company’s platform or somewhere else. …

… also bars social media companies from labeling posts on their own websites—with, for instance, a warning that they contain violence, vulgarity, or disinformation. … And one baffling provision sharply restricts email service providers’ ability to block spam, allowing users to collect $25,000 for each day that their provider impedes “the transmission of an unsolicited or commercial electronic mail message.”

As if that does not go far enough,

The only way out of this mess, then, would be for social media companies to cease all operations in Texas. But H.B. 20 orders them to continue providing their services in Texas.

They want to require companies to do business in Texas. Because, Free Market! Or something. How could they possibly expect to force a company to provide their service in Texas if the company does not want to? Are these people insane?

Update: SCotUS reinstated the injunction that was lifted by an apellate court by a 5-4 vote. This was not an actual ruling on the legitimacy of the law itself, just a vote on the injunction. They will probably not rule on the law itself for a year or two.

Now the 5th Circuit Judge has published his opinion, and it is hard to parse and laden with nonsense. Basically, he says that websites are not like print newspapers, which can control the content they deliver because, reasons, but are actually like telecoms, which are required to carry whatever content you want to push through their wires/airwaves.

Judge Oldham said:
The Platforms are nothing like the newspaper in Miami Herald. Unlike newspapers, the Platforms exercise virtually no editorial control or judgment. The Platforms use algorithms to screen out certain obscene and spam-related content. And then virtually everything else is just posted to the Platform with zero editorial control or judgment.

You can clearly see that this guy lives entirely in the real world 🥸

Judge Oldham said:
The Platforms … primary contention … is that we should declare HB 20 facially invalid because it prohibits the Platforms from censoring “pro-Nazi speech, terrorist propaganda, (and) Holocaust denial(s).” Red Br. at 1.
Far from justifying pre-enforcement facial invalidation, the Platforms’ obsession with terrorists and Nazis proves the opposite. The Supreme Court has instructed that “(i)n determining whether a law is facially invalid,” we should avoid “speculat(ing) about ‘hypothetical’ or ‘imaginary’ cases.” … it’s improper to exercise the Article III judicial power based on “hypothetical cases thus imagined.”

Forum/social media sites are obsessed wih Nazis, terrorists, Holocaust deniers, all things which are fictional and apparently do not exist so we should not moderate those subjects.



I guess this would mean that @Eric would have to unban anyone he has banned and prevent any posts on TalkedAbout from being moderated. Or just close the whole site.
 
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lizkat

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Couldn't figure whether to put a cry or laugh emoticon on that, particularly with reference to the content of that weird law. Gotta love this part

And one baffling provision sharply restricts email service providers’ ability to block spam, allowing users to collect $25,000 for each day that their provider impedes “the transmission of an unsolicited or commercial electronic mail message.


Hard to figure sometimes how we are all going to die. Popular options seem include the following

1. Litigate ourselves to death.

2. Entertain ourselves to death.

3. The thing we sent to outer space comes back bigger and improved by mean drivers.

My money currently is on the first option. The cheap alternative to that of course is just getting a gun.
 
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