Section 230 on my Mind…..

Trump, Biden both want to repeal tech legal protections — for opposite reasons ~ Christiano Lima

Just a thought folks from someone that is actually in the interactive service providing business but without Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives interactive service providers (ISPs) immunity from liability for third party hosted content there is no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc etc. Places like Slabbed and Jackson Jambalaya may still be around but likely wouldn’t host reader comments, same for the rest of the news media. I know Slabbed wouldn’t and without reader comments we would not be nearly the same website.

With immunity comes some responsibility. I do contact those that leave comments I think would cross certain legal lines if they leave a good contact address to make sure they understand the ramifications of what they wrote. Recently Slabbed received comments about a coast educator that were clearly either: 1. Defamatory or 2. Belonged in the hands of local law enforcement since criminal acts were alleged. The would be commenter leaving a BS email address was all I needed to send them to trash.

Overall I think the big tech companies do a decent job, with Facebook being the worst in terms of consistency in enforcing its terms of service. The solution does not lie in killing off the possibility of protected speech by going after the ISPs. After all if both Trump and Biden both don’t like it Section 230 is probably a good thing.

Since it is the holiday season….

I encourage everyone to support interactive websites like Slabbed that still actually fosters reader participation.  I’ll freely stipulate that reader commenting can sometimes devolve into a full airing of very dirty laundry but like most things in life you take the good with the bad. I mention this because 2014 was definitely not the year of reader participation at your local newspaper website.  It is one area of interactive internet business theory that I think the Newhouse gang is fundamentally correct but Team Newhouse has become the minority:

Facing a flood of incivility, news sites make reader comments harder to find ~ Adam Hochberg