What stupid thing did the GOP say or do this time? Episode 3!

ATTENTION: If you had an account that was created before September 1st 2021 you will need to re-create your account again. We apologize for this inconvenience. This should not happen again.

wonko the sane?

You may test that assumption at your convinience.
Citizen
They weren't invented when the second was written, and then the geneva convention kinda covered them fairly thoroughly.
 

The Mighty Mollusk

The bold ever fight on, their lives echoed in song
Citizen
But it's not a war crime when they do it to their own country, only when it's done against another country.

I wish this was satirical, but.
 

Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
So if someone were to show up with a Boring Company Not-a-Flamethrower, would they be kicked out? 'Cause it says right on the label that it's not a flamethrower!
 

Coglestop

Active member
Citizen
Oh, he will leave office, one way or another. Frankly, I'd rather Floridians vote him out soon, but the Grim Reaper eventually gets everybody.
 

Cybersnark

Well-known member
Citizen
I have to admit, I wasn't expecting the ban list to include hoards of insects, but here we are.

beeweapon.jpg
 

wonko the sane?

You may test that assumption at your convinience.
Citizen
What even is a reasonable amount? Where does it go from useful, to kinky to revolutionary?
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
so Ron DeSantis is NEVER leaving office, no matter what he does to Disney.



This is fine. This man is going to be in charge of our elections, and will control our brand new election police.

But it gets better. His wife, who is a bigger Qcumber than he is, already serves on our state Board of Education.
 

abates

late stage wiki editing
Citizen
OK, but what's the story with the cowbells? Everyone knows you need more cowbell, not less.
 

The Mighty Mollusk

The bold ever fight on, their lives echoed in song
Citizen
The speakers can't hear their own voices over it. And you know that's all they're really there for.
 

NovaSaber

Well-known member
Citizen
Texas Republicans want to break the internet
https://www.techdirt.com/2022/05/12...is-texas-social-media-content-moderation-law/

And what would the law require of them? Well, mostly to get sued for every possible moderation decision. You only think I’m exaggerating. Litigator Ken White has a nice breakdown thread of how the law will encourage just an absolutely insane amount of wasteful litigation:

As he notes, a key provision and the crux of the bill is this bizarre “anti-censorship” part:

CENSORSHIP PROHIBITED. (a) A social media platform may not censor a user, a user’s expression, or a user’s ability to receive the expression of another person based on:
(1) the viewpoint of the user or another person;
(2) the viewpoint represented in the user’s expression or another person’s expression; or
(3) a user’s geographic location in this state or any part of this state.
(b) This section applies regardless of whether the viewpoint is expressed on a social media platform or through any other medium.

So, let’s break this down. It says that a website cannot “censor” (by which it clearly means moderate) based on the user’s viewpoint or geographic location. And it applies even if that viewpoint doesn’t occur on the website.

What does that mean in practice? First, even if there is a good and justifiable reason for moderating the content — say it’s spam or harassment or inciting violence — that really doesn’t matter. The user can simply claim that it’s because of their viewpoints — even those expressed elsewhere — and force the company to fight it out in court. This is every spammer’s dream. Spammers would love to be able to force websites to accept their spam. And this law basically says that if you remove spam, the spammer can take you to court.

I haven’t even gotten to the bit that says that you can’t “censor” based on geographic location. That portion can basically be read to be forcing social media companies to stay in Texas. Because if you block all of your Texas users, they can all sue you, claiming that you’re “censoring” them based on their geographic location.

So, yeah, here you have the “free market” GOP passing a law that effectively says that social media companies (1) have to operate in Texas and (2) have to be sued over every moderation decision they make, even if it’s in response to clear policy violations.
Between this and Texas's recent laws regarding abortion and trans healthcare, I have to ask...are Texas lawmakers just deluded about the extent of their jurisdiction?

The covered companies will also have to keep a tally over every form of moderation and post it in its transparency report. So, every time a spam posting is removed, it will need to be tracked and recorded. Even any time content is “deprioritized.” What does that mean? All of these companies recommend stuff based on algorithms, meaning that some stuff is prioritized and some stuff is not. I don’t care to see when people I follow tweet about football, because I don’t watch football. But it appears that if the algorithm learns that about me and chooses to deprioritize football tweets just for me, the company will need to include that in its transparency report.

Now, multiply that by every user, and every possible interaction. I think you could argue that these sites “deprioritize” content billions of times a day just by the natural functioning of the algorithm. How the hell do you track all the content you don’t show someone?!

The law also requires detailed, impossible complaint procedures, including a full tracking system if someone follows a complaint. That’s required as of last night. So best of wishes to every single covered platform, none of whom have this technology in place.

It also requires that if the website is alerted to illegal content, it has to determine whether or not the content is actually illegal within 48 hours. I’ll just note that, in most cases, even law enforcement isn’t that quick, and then there’s the whole judicial process that can take years to determine if something is illegal. Yet websites are given 48 hours?

And, that’s not all. Remember last week when I was joking about how Republicans wanted to make sure your inboxes were filled with spam? I had forgotten about the provision in this law that makes a lot of spam filtering a violation of the law. I only wish I was joking. For unclear reasons, the law also amends Texas’ existing anti-spam law. It added (and it’s already live in the law) a section saying the following:

Sec. 321.054. IMPEDING ELECTRONIC MAIL MESSAGES PROHIBITED. An electronic mail service provider may not intentionally impede the transmission of another person’s electronic mail message based on the content of the message unless:
(1) the provider is authorized to block the transmission under Section 321.114 or other applicable state or federal law; or
(2) the provider has a good faith, reasonable belief that the message contains malicious computer code, obscene material, material depicting sexual conduct, or material that violates other law.

So that literally says the only reasons you can “impede” email is if it contains malicious code, obscene material, sexual content, or violates other laws. Now the reference to 321.114 alleviates some of this, since that section gives services (I kid you not) “qualified immunity” for blocking certain commercial email messages, but only with certain conditions, including enabling a dispute resolution process for spammers.

There are many more problems with this law, but I am perplexed at how anyone could possibly think this is either workable or Constitutional. It’s neither. The only proper thing to do would be to shut down in Texas, but again the law treats that as a violation itself. What an utter monstrosity.
 

Coglestop

Active member
Citizen
Texas REALLY thinks it has the right to legislate outside of its own borders. IF this passes and the Supreme Court allows this to stand, all it will do is push social media companies to leave the US for Canada, New Zealand or Europe where they won't have to deal with the headache.
 

Nevermore

Well-known member
Citizen
I have another suggestion for GOP legislation: Mass shootings qualify as "free speech". At this point, why not?
 

Pocket

Yep.
Citizen
What I want to know is whether "social media platform" legally encompasses all websites with user-submitted content. For example, this one.
 
Top Bottom