Hafen to supporters: There was an try
In terms of symbolic legislation, MP Greg Hafen’s bill to regulate social media platforms is at least less wasteful than most.
AB289, which has about as many chances of getting a committee hearing, let alone actually going into law, like this column, put in just 235 words to Legislative Counsel Bureau. Advertised as a draft law punishing social media platforms for censoring language, it expressly does not do so – as long as a social media platform can justify its content moderation through section 230 or as long as a social media platform does not present itself as such As a content-neutral or perspective-neutral platform, it is expressly excluded from the provisions of the invoice.
Not that it matters. The sole purpose of the bill is to die quietly on the clerk’s desk so Rep. Port can suck up the hype of Florida’s much bigger social media bill to let donors know he tried – he really did tries -. Pass a similar bill in Nevada and the terrible, no good, very bad Democrats in Carson City wouldn’t even hear it. When the session ends, please mail a check for $ 5,000 to friends of Gregory T. Hafen, Pahrump, Nevada so that he can easily defeat any challenger he faces in the primaries and he will lose his seat involuntarily if he does a better respected Republican is running against him. Otherwise, he could die in a brothel and his body would easily defeat any Democratic challenger in Congregation District 36.
Seriously, it was done. That’s how he got the job in the first place.
On the one hand, the half-hearted effort put into the bill shows both a level of legislative laziness and a lack of likely success that wouldn’t be out of place in certain corners of Reddit. On the other hand, it is actually best that no one, not even MP Hafen, tries to make this transparently opportunistic attempt to reap the persecution complexes of his supporters. If instead he had copied and pasted the contents of Florida’s HB 7013, the potential results might have been significantly worse.
Florida’s HB 7013, like port AB289, claims to prevent social media platforms from censoring language. Like Hafen’s AB289, he’s ridiculously toothless in this regard – he claims to protect the speech of political candidates (and only political candidates who wonderfully selfishly make the law) before insisting that it will only be enforced to the extent that it is enforced May, as is consistent with Section 230. Inexplicably, this Section 17 pages of antitrust law follow, including the creation of a “list of providers of antitrust violations”.
Section 230 prevents websites (including but not limited to social media platforms) from being held responsible for the speech of their users and, as Mike Masnick pointed out on Techdirt last June, allows websites to add user content at their own discretion moderate. Because of this, ridesharing, social media companies, and credit card companies don’t have to do business with Laura Loomer, who was fired as a racist lunatic by Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Twitter, and PayPal before she successfully won Republican Elementary School in the Congressional District of Mar-A -Lago. Section 230 is also why no one on the internet is required to give Augustus Sol Invictus, a failed Floridian Senate candidate who sacrificed a goat and led the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, before joining last year Time of day was arrested.
In short, Section 230 prevents sites like The Nevada Independent from being held liable for anything you say in the comments below this column. Also, sites like The Nevada Independent have the ability to remove your posts for no reason.
This law is based on two principles: the right to freedom of association and the right of a private owner to control access to and use of his property. While you have an absolute right to freedom of expression, you have no right to force someone to listen to you, and you certainly have no right to force someone to repeat what you said. Even if you have an absolute right to freedom of expression, you have no right to leave notes on someone else’s property that passers-by can read without their permission – a permission that can be revoked at any time for any reason.
A consequence of these rights in connection with Section 230 is that some individuals will be given more consistent permission than others to share their thoughts on other people’s property.
Of course, there is a group of people who feel that their pig-digested pearls of wisdom are not being shared with as many people as they should be. Of course, where there is a constituency, there is at least one politician willing to turn to them. Sometimes such pandering takes the form of pointless bills like the AB289 from Hafen or the HB 7013 from Florida. In other cases, they take the form of politicians who deliberately activate social media platforms, like an aging rock star trying to restore the youth’s credibility by falling under Gore’s skin all over again.
In both cases, pandering always serves the interests of the politicians, not their constituency, because there is no way to satisfy that constituency without annoying the vast majority of us. AB289 will do nothing to allow its constituents to post conspiracy theories online because, as the Washington Post pointed out over two years ago, they were little delayed from the start. In the meantime, Florida’s HB 7013 won’t force websites to do business with goat victims and white supremacists – for who wants to be forced to do business with goat victims and white supremacists?
In the case of Florida’s politicians, their interest was to pass antitrust law bypassing an otherwise skeptical Republican legislature. Meanwhile, the interests of the deputy port are much simpler and more important. He has to throw enough red meat on his base to keep them from leading someone more disgusting than him in the next elementary school.
Now that he has made the slightest effort and we have acknowledged the attempt, we can all move on with our lives.
David Colborne has been active in the Libertarian Party for two decades. During this time he blogged on his personal blog as well as on the blog of the Libertarian Party of Nevada and twice ran for office as a libertarian candidate. He serves on the executive committee for both state and county Libertarian Party chapters. He is the father of two sons and an IT expert. You can follow him on Twitter @DavidColborne or email him at [email protected].