Florida Introduces "Stop Social Media Censorship Act"

EODetroit

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Assuming this passes into law, which it won't, and then assuming it passes a first amendment challenge, which it won't, all it will mean is that Facebook won't offer its services to anyone residing in Florida. Same for every other social media platform.
 

MarkVI

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The problem is that Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube have become so prevalent in how we obtain our information that they literally influence public opinion; they've essentially become national (and international) public forums controlled by private entities at this point. Nothing provided by public entities come close. Being able to control these forums literally give these companies massive influence on what the public thinks and believes.



That's why laws exist and can change and evolve with time. At one point it was constitutionally acceptable to own slaves.

I couldn't agree more that these companies have out-sized, government-like influence. The remedy is really simple and has nothing to do with regulating their speech: anti-trust law. If they're too big, they need to be broken up. Facebook and Google are the Standard Oil of the 21st century.
 

MarkVI

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The problem is that Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube have become so prevalent in how we obtain our information that they literally influence public opinion; they've essentially become national (and international) public forums controlled by private entities at this point. Nothing provided by public entities come close. Being able to control these forums literally give these companies massive influence on what the public thinks and believes.

It didn't even occur to me that people rely on these platforms for news because I don't use them that way. They are inherently unreliable, just as Wikipedia is. It's so easy (and dangerous) to assume that everyone else sees the world through the same lens.

Maybe the real answer is a more educated public. We haven't adapted to the changing reality. For those of us old enough to remember library catalogs and the like, it used to be hard to find information, but it was difficult to publish bad information so most (but not all) of what you found was credible. The critical skill was finding the source in the first place. Now, it's incredibly easy to disseminate information, and the more essential skill is being able to discriminate between reliable and unreliable data. We really should be teaching middle and high school students these basic skills. Nobody who has any basic research skills trusts Wikipedia, Facebook, and the like implicitly. With tertiary sources one must always trace it back to a more reliable source before taking it as the truth.

Facebook is only as powerful as we choose to let them be. They don't hold the key to any necessary resource or unique technology.
 

iamjanco

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I say shut it down. Permanently. Cell phones will get a lot cheaper, and fewer people will fall off of Taft Point.
 

GoodBoy

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In Denmark, almost all political debate, is through facebook and twitter. Facebook actively censors political views they don't like. Point in case, my friend got his post deleted because it said he thought that the islamic veil was the result of a tyrannical patriarchy. You may or may not agree with this, but should facebook disallow the discussion? It certainly isn't illegal to say. I understand that in Denmark they will introduce legislation to make it illegal for foreign powers to meddle in the danish political debate. When that happens, Facebook will be the first against the wall.

On a larger note: Do we really want google to filter the search results according to their political views? Facebook to stymie all discussion that they dont approve? Twitter and so on? They make 1984 look like a paradise.

I support this Florida initiative completely.

Who is forcing the citizens of Denmark to use facebook? Meet your buddies in person, have all the free speech you want.

This is no longer a simple issue and is honestly massively complex now. You cannot simply take a stand of "free speech" or "Private businesses are allowed to run their platform as they deem fit". Back before social media run by private companies was the overwhelmingly dominate form of communication for the masses, it was a very simple issue of Free speech is something that only the government needs to be held too and private businesses should be allowed to moderate their platforms as they deem fit. I agreed with this fully, it was a clear cut issue. However we are now at a point where social media sites like Facebook, twitter, youtube and reddit are such a pervasive part of how everyone consumes content and how everyone formulates opinions, it is far more complicated. The big problem comes from the fact that all the major platforms right now have proven to be heavily left leaning and not just "A little" left, but extreme left. As such anything right wing is under heavy attack and heavy censorship or even non right wing but simply disagrees with the narrative. Now I say this as someone who considers them self fairly moderate with a definite tendency to lean left on many things. If you are going to allow the extreme of one side voice their opinions no matter how batshit crazy it is, then you MUST give the other side an equal chance. I am extremely disenchanted with how things currently are on these platforms as they are being extremely heavy handed on certain topics and at this point they are simply too large and too intertwined with how every single person gets their information to continue claiming they are immune to free speech.

Lol.. social media are to the Left.. have you watched the shitshow that is fox news? Not only heavily to the right, but full of lies.

Censor them fucktards.

If something like this passes, no site just like this one can limit speech in any way, get ready...

Yeah. So Kyle Bennett, no more banning fucktards from the forums.. "YOU VIOLATED MY FREE SPEECH!!!"

Fuck that. The internet/social media is a wasteland of mostly trash. If Facebook/[H] deletes you post because you are a toxic piece of filth, more power to them. It's Their businesses. You are free to NOT use them. You are not free to tell them to let you whine about whateverYouAareThrowingaFitAboutToday in their place of business. Comparing it to 1984... not even remotely the same thing. Who is telling you what to think? Oh yeah, you're tell each other... /idiots
 
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Darkbreeze

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That's great. I guess they are not familiar with the idea that you sign a TOS when you join a site like that, or most sites actually. Or that they site actually, realistically, BELONGS to somebody, and that legally they have the right to do what they want with it. This kind of legislation is just one step away from what they have in China and Russia where they actually can TELL you what you can have or not have, allow or not allow. Screw that. I'd rather see ten pus filled hate mongering posts get taken down and one innocent one get caught up by mistake than allow the cesspool to simply fester. The administration that even suggested that ought to have all it's legal members disbarred and the entire administration recalled if they actually support simply allowing anybody to do anything they want with no recourse for keeping things at at least a somewhat sane(er) level.

Senseless. No wonder our country is going to hell. It's not immigrants, it's universally witless idiots like that. Makes you wonder if they also wear floppy white hoods during get togethers on the weekends to even suggest that kind of drivel. And yeah, I'm white.
 

CaptNumbNutz

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Normally, I would have a problem with this.

However, everytime the market opens up to allow a competitor the same people who cry from the rooftops that their preferred source of media is a "private entity" and "can do what they want" then they call for the same censorship and shutdown of a competing social platform.

Case in point:
4chan
8chan
Voat
Gab

NZ shooter posted his manifesto to 8ch. Now much of the American media is demanding its shutdown. Cloudflare used the same argument against them.

These groups lobby and find all these other ways to deplatform competitors, and in the case of Gab, they got all the payment processors to stop working for them so they couldn't get funding.

I don't want this law, because I want the market to work. I think the problem needs to be worked from another angle.
 

kinjo

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Although I believe social media platforms should not (in most cases) censor users I am not sure if legislating penalties for them doing so is appropriate. They are after all not government entities. It seems like this legislation could result in some pretty serious unintended consequences if not drafted with extreme care. I can see both sides as I do believe simply saying that twitter/facebook etc. are private companies and can do as they please is choosing to be willfully ignorant of the role those companies play in perpetuating discourse in the modern world but on the other hand where does it stop? can foreign governments spread propaganda because they have a right to free speech? can people spread demonstrable falsehoods? who is to be the judge of what is free speech and what is not will facebook need to go to the supreme court in order to take a post down? Not saying this law is for sure a bad thing just very concerned about what it could do if not written properly.
 

Skyblue

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Looking at the decision, the court basically said "yeah, even though company owns everything, it's still a public environment and thus Constitutional protections applied".

Remember the Internet is nothing except a group of private networks that have collectively decided to allow open access between them. Each individual private network is free to manage it's membership as it sees fit.
Indeed. Each ISP could in principle censor the data it choose to let through. Or how much bandwidth it chooses to let the sender/receiver use. I mean, you could just not use the internet, right? Go see your friends instead?
 

Laowai

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Lol.. social media are to the Left.. have you watched the shitshow that is fox news? Not only heavily to the right, but full of lies.

Censor them fucktards
You're either trolling or ignorant. First of all, Fox News isn't 'social media' it's media. Mainstream media. Pretty much the only right leaning mainstream media outlet there is.And you want to censor it. I find that completely unsurprising.
Everything else, is biased to one degree or another to the left.
Here are 50 examples.
There have been studies done that also illustrate this fact quite clearly but to be frank.....left-wing media bias seems to be obvious to most people except leftists who cannot tolerate even a single opposing viewpoint.
 

Tweak42

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Assuming this passes into law, which it won't, and then assuming it passes a first amendment challenge, which it won't, all it will mean is that Facebook won't offer its services to anyone residing in Florida. Same for every other social media platform.

^^^
Pretty much this. I'm not sure if this politician be trolling or seriously thinks it would work. In either case it's a waste every ones time cause we're all here discussing it.....
 

Factum

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Bad idea....will give muppets like anti-vaxxers a "loop-hole" to spread their lies...
 

Skyblue

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Bad idea....will give muppets like anti-vaxxers a "loop-hole" to spread their lies...
It certainly will. And it will give their opponents their loop hole to spread their lies.

More to the point, who determines what i a lie? The state? The church? The "infallible" church of science? If the price is thet antivaxxers get to spread their lies, then that is a lot better than some global private corporation gets to determine what is truth and not.
 

kirbyrj

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I think Florida should be more worried about the idiots who check Facebook while they are driving in the middle of I-95.
 

M76

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Wow, this sounds like an awful idea. These are private companies and they are entitled to regulate speech as they see fit on their platforms. Perfect example: all of the big platforms booted Alex Jones for spreading lies and hate speech. Should they be forced to take him back? Speech like that does real harm, just look at those poor Sandy Hook parents and the harassment they suffer from the Infowars crowd. The pizzagate shooter is another great example.

This would actually make executives like Zuckerberg less accountable. They could just say "Florida made me do it" every time there is a new controversy.

Whoever wrote this bill seems to not understand that the first amendment doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want consequence free, it just means that the government can't fine or imprison you for it.
Social media is a public forum, just because a private company runs it doesn't mean they aren't public. Just as traffic laws are in effect in public car parks run by private companies. Free speech must be upheld in public forums.
Harassment is illegal however, and not covered by free speech. Like any other illegal activity.

For what exactly could be "Florida made me do it"? Be an excuse for? They make you do nothing. They want to prevent facebook from infringing on free speech based on arbitrary malleable excuses that they employ in service of their political biases.

You should be able to say whatever. But facebook prevents you from saying whatever by censoring it. Censoring is not a consequence of your speech. The consequence of saying something stupid is other people ridiculing you or worse. In a healthy society there is no need for self appointed speech police to tell me what is offensive. And sometimes the truth is offensive, that doesn't make it any less true. Should the truth be suppressed then?
 
D

Deleted member 184142

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FB, Twitter, etc etc I see often times as the scum of the Earth, but with that said, it is their platform, if you don't like it or don't like what they don't allow, good reason or not, don't use it. Much like the forum here, yes, they have to respect your right to say whatever you want, but they DO NOT have to provide you a platform for that speech.
 

Dekoth-E-

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You're either trolling or ignorant. First of all, Fox News isn't 'social media' it's media. Mainstream media. Pretty much the only right leaning mainstream media outlet there is.And you want to censor it. I find that completely unsurprising.
Everything else, is biased to one degree or another to the left.
Here are 50 examples.
There have been studies done that also illustrate this fact quite clearly but to be frank.....left-wing media bias seems to be obvious to most people except leftists who cannot tolerate even a single opposing viewpoint.

I just assumed trolling or both and didn't respond to him.
 

Olle P

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... These are private companies and they are entitled to regulate speech as they see fit on their platforms. ...
Whoever wrote this bill seems to not understand that the first amendment doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want consequence free, it just means that the government can't fine or imprison you for it.
Free speech doesn't mean ANY company has to give you a platform to say whateverthefuck you want.
Did you actually read the proposed bill?

1. It does not apply to every company, but a select few (big) ones.
2. It does not apply to companies that are outspokenly affiliated to some political or religious agenda.
3. There are still quite a few types of "statements" that the senator doesn't want to protect.

I must say I'd basically support it, as written.
My only (minor) complaint is the exclusion on line 91:
"[It's okay to censor material that] 2. Is obscene or pornographic in nature;"
My problem with this is that all to often the definitions of what is "obscene" or "pornographic" are way to wide and/or arbitrary.
 

Factum

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and it will give people like you the opportunity to call them muppets ...now do you understand how that no censorship thing works?

Not on private platforms...this law is just like compelled speech...the last stand of lies and muppets.
 

GoodBoy

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You're either trolling or ignorant. First of all, Fox News isn't 'social media' it's media. Mainstream media. Pretty much the only right leaning mainstream media outlet there is.And you want to censor it. I find that completely unsurprising.
Everything else, is biased to one degree or another to the left.
Here are 50 examples.
There have been studies done that also illustrate this fact quite clearly but to be frank.....left-wing media bias seems to be obvious to most people except leftists who cannot tolerate even a single opposing viewpoint.

I guess you missed the sarcasm... in the absurdity of the statement "censor them fucktards..."
 

Laowai

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Social media is a public forum, just because a private company runs it doesn't mean they aren't public. Just as traffic laws are in effect in public car parks run by private companies. Free speech must be upheld in public forums.
Harassment is illegal however, and not covered by free speech. Like any other illegal activity.

For what exactly could be "Florida made me do it"? Be an excuse for? They make you do nothing. They want to prevent facebook from infringing on free speech based on arbitrary malleable excuses that they employ in service of their political biases.

You should be able to say whatever. But facebook prevents you from saying whatever by censoring it. Censoring is not a consequence of your speech. The consequence of saying something stupid is other people ridiculing you or worse. In a healthy society there is no need for self appointed speech police to tell me what is offensive. And sometimes the truth is offensive, that doesn't make it any less true. Should the truth be suppressed then?
I'm torn on this.
How have social media platforms become a public forum? The case has been made that when used by gov't agencies and officials, those particular channels are indeed public forums and constitutional protections apply. That does not (AFAIK) carry over to anybody who can hammer their face into a keyboard.

I'm far less bothered about social media twits deleting things or blocking people than I am Google hiding things it decides it or its advertisers don't like and/or promoting their ideology or that of its advertisers.
 

Laowai

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I guess you missed the sarcasm... in the absurdity of the statement "censor them fucktards..."
I completely missed it.
I have seen quite a few people say retarded shit like that and mean it completely.
 

TonyZ

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HardOCP doesn't have 75 million+ users. Read before commenting.

I'm just saying, this is a dangerous road to go down and I don't agree with it at all. 75 million users today, what about tomorrow so snark off...
 

GoodBoy

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Did you actually read the proposed bill?

1. It does not apply to every company, but a select few (big) ones.
2. It does not apply to companies that are outspokenly affiliated to some political or religious agenda.
3. There are still quite a few types of "statements" that the senator doesn't want to protect.

I must say I'd basically support it, as written.
My only (minor) complaint is the exclusion on line 91:
"[It's okay to censor material that] 2. Is obscene or pornographic in nature;"
My problem with this is that all to often the definitions of what is "obscene" or "pornographic" are way to wide and/or arbitrary.

Ok, so let's try to think about this seriously.

Proposed bill -> Company cannot censor content, but not all you little companies, only the big ones. (Already a huge loophole, and unfair)
-> You are a big Religious organization? Censor all you want! (How is this even remotely ok, if social media cannot censor?)

Then you bring up the point, who is to decide what is obscene?

Pro's and cons, pretty much fall in line with your ideological leaning:

Censor a post of fake news. Pro if you are the target of lies, Con if you believe the lie. My view: They should be free to censor lies. As everyone has pointed out, these platforms are so big now, many many people use them, and to their detriment, this may be their primary source of news.

We can address every situation in the same way.

But to your point, who decides what is obscene, what is a lie? I sure as hell do not trust the goverment to uphold that. As free as America is, our current president would be a full-on dictator if he could get away with it. I trust a corporation in this respect only a little more. The way these social media platforms earn money is ads. If they let it devolve into more of an internet trash heap, it's bad for business, companies pull ads, we might lose our favorite landfill playground.

I haven't seen any evidence that anything that may have ever been censored on any social media platform, was politically motivated.

But what if it was?

Newspapers - politically tilted, and they sure as hell are not going to be told by the government that they HAVE to print something they don't agree with.. Yeah, we want a society like that, just move to China, Iraq, North Korea.
Junknews TV - politically tilted, and they sure as hell do not air anything they don't agree with either. In fact they straight up lie, misconstru.. oh wait, they are entertainment, not news.. You thought we were "real" news?? Lol, joke's on you.

But the majority of people on social media get their news from social media!! Oh wait, a lot of it is links to the crap I just previously cited... So the shit linked on Facebook comes from biased, censored as they see fit sources, and Facebook cannot also censor it?

Are you for censorship or against?

There is no obvious correct or good answer, other than I trust our lawmakers less than I trust Facebooks' desire to make money, which means them cleaning the shit from their platform as best they can.
 
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NickJames

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Actually, there has been a Supreme Court case that ruled the First Amendment applied to can be applied to private venues. In the case of Marsh vs Alabama(1946) a woman was distributing religious pamphlets in a company town, where the Gulf Shipbuilding owned everything, including the sidewalks. The company used trespassing laws to force her out of the town; she sued and eventually won -

Considering how widely the Social Media companies have opened up their property to the public, one could easily make a case that the constitutional rights of those visiting those sites should be applied.

Why do I have a feeling that if the pamphlets were to join the Church of Satan the Supreme Court would've sided differently.
 

Factum

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It’s really simple:

If you arecon the street, feel free to spread your FUD.
If you are inside my home, you STFU. Spread your FUD and I will toss you on the street.


This smells like sour grapes...
 

Crosshairs

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Bad idea....will give muppets like anti-vaxxers a "loop-hole" to spread their lies...

Not on private platforms...this law is just like compelled speech...the last stand of lies and muppets.

so whats your actual objection? is it that people can say things you dont agree with or is it that its possibly being done a private platform....

because the post that I originally replied to sure sounds like you just want to silence a certain group of people....
 

Majinhoju

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I don't know...

I thought republicans preferred a small government style system that wouldn't regulate private businesses so much. Facebook, twitter, youtube etc... are simply reacting to the current market.
 

The Mad Atheist

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Good, hopefully it passes, tired of getting block-ban for 30 days because I hurt someone's ideologies' feelings.

I kink of find it funny you can criticize, mock, or insult freedom, capitalism, racism, communism, Christianity, Judaism, ect ect ect, but when you do it to Islam, holy hell, BANZ HIMZ!!!
 

SilverSliver

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Wow, this sounds like an awful idea. These are private companies and they are entitled to regulate speech as they see fit on their platforms. Perfect example: all of the big platforms booted Alex Jones for spreading lies and hate speech. Should they be forced to take him back? Speech like that does real harm, just look at those poor Sandy Hook parents and the harassment they suffer from the Infowars crowd. The pizzagate shooter is another great example.

This would actually make executives like Zuckerberg less accountable. They could just say "Florida made me do it" every time there is a new controversy.

Whoever wrote this bill seems to not understand that the first amendment doesn't mean that you can say whatever you want consequence free, it just means that the government can't fine or imprison you for it.

So you are a-okay with monolithic tech companies controlling what is read, seen and heard - as long as those viewpoints are your own I assume? If you can control what people read, see and hear - you can control how they think. This is a fact.
 

Factum

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so whats your actual objection? is it that people can say things you dont agree with or is it that its possibly being done a private platform....

because the post that I originally replied to sure sounds like you just want to silence a certain group of people....

There are some groups that spread lies and risk public health...I like to see them off this planet yes...because you cannot fix stupid...stupid is forever.

But I will settle for them have no access to social media as a start...
 

Laowai

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Honestly, until we get some really bad ideas out of our collective heads, we may not be ready for this conversation as a culture. We need to realize that there is no such thing as "hate speech". If you think there is...I challenge you to define it diffrently from just speech you don't like. There's speech.....there's speech we don't like.....and there is speech used to directly incite violence. Real violence. Not the make-believe version of violence where people think they're victims because somebody used words. One of those three is wrong and punishable. The other two should be equally protected.....
.....
.....
unless you're shouting from somebody else's front lawn and that fellow wants you to shut the fuck up.

I was torn on this up until a few moments ago. I don't think it matters one bit how many users any social media app has, they're still private and can do as they please in regard to who they allow to use their app and what content is shown and/or permitted. They do not become a 'public forum' simply because their product is successful.

If an individual has an opinion that is not welcome on any one/some/all of the big social media platforms, that person is not being denied something they have a right to.

As a culture, it may be more a far more meaningful to have discussions about our reliance on social media in general. What are we giving up (privacy, protected speech, etc) for access to these apps? Do they actually provide something of worth? Are they a net positive for us? Etc.
 

Crosshairs

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There are some groups that spread lies and risk public health...I like to see them off this planet yes...because you cannot fix stupid...stupid is forever.

But I will settle for them have no access to social media as a start...

I cant find fault in your logic but I cannot support the way you suggest we do it. what starts as censoring lies and misinformation will morph into censoring what those in charge deem unacceptable ..its just not a path Im willing to go down .
 
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