Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Another Reason A Lot of Federal Judges Must Be Replaced

No, not an Onion article.  5/23/18 The Verge:
It is unconstitutional for public officials, including the president, to block Twitter followers who criticize them, a court ruled today in a legal dispute over President Trump’s account.
The lawsuit, brought by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, argued that Twitter users blocked by @realdonaldtrump had their First Amendment rights violated. In a decision released today, a federal judge hearing the case ruled that Twitter’s “interactive space,” where users can interact with Trump’s tweets, qualifies as a public forum, and that blocking users unconstitutionally restricts their speech. The decision rejected arguments from the president’s team that President Trump’s own First Amendment rights would be violated if he could not block users.
Does that mean Twitter is a public forum and can't block speech it does not like?  Random Acts of Gibberish points out that:
First, the judge appears to turn a right to speak into a right that everyone listen. Not just on Twitter. Got troll commenting on your blog or forum? You may not be able to moderate them under this legal theory.
Second, it’s a lot worse than that. Remember CDA Section 230? That’s the one that gave web site owners some protection from liability for posts or comments made by other people.
Meet FOSTA, the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act”Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.” It strips away many of those 230 protections, making web site owners responsible for things posted by users. Big outfits like Facebook like it because they can afford to comply, but it weeds out smaller competitors who can’t afford a 24/7 team of moderators and automatic filters.
So now I could be held responsible for libelous comments on my blog…
…and I may not be allowed to block offenders. I may not be able to block spammers and trolls.
Imagine getting busted for trafficking because a spammer posted an ad for cheap Chinese Fentanyl on your blog.



1 comment:

Jumped Up NeoBarb said...

That's it in principal - but the weasel way is to say the ruling only applies to POTUS. What about muting?