The politics side of the universe has been debating the infamous section 230 of the Communication Decency Act for the last three to six month to some degree. No one seems happy with what §230 does – well except those who can take advantage of it in such a way that they can have their cake and eat it too. Mostly the arguments have been about Facebook, Twitter, and other socials – but more interesting is that web hosts have the same carte blanche coverage.
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Last week, Automattic’s WordPress.com deplatformed a site for breaking terms of service. I am absolutely not interested in a having a political discussion on the matter but with regards to §230 and possible changes in 2021, it’s important to note that all hosting companies will be effected (or not). David Sacks of Craft Ventures has put together and very well thought out piece regarding how the First Amendment as it is codified in non-tech law can be utilized to mitigate the extreme concerns about §230, Section 230: Mend It, Don’t End It: “The most relevant exceptions to protected speech are: fighting words, incitement, false statements of fact (including defamation and fraud), illegally obtained material, and obscenity.”
I am not a lawyer but my ultimate concern is that this may lead to a state of NOT being able to deplatform unless the exceptions are met. We love to hear twitter thoughts on this.