Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Section 230, a free-speech essential

An important principle of free speech is that a person's speech is his responsibility.

We don't hold the paper manufacturer or the printer responsible for how people use those tools.

The internet equivalent of this principle is called Section 230. It's the part of the law that gives the online version of paper manufacturer's legal immunity from how other's may use their platforms to say things.

Last week during a joint hearing there was discussion of Section 230. Some don't like it, and want to not just hold speakers accountable for their speech, but those who enable them, even if there was nothing intentional, specific, or unique about that enabling.

Any time you try and hold someone responsible for another's action, that's a form of intimidation. There's simply no other reason or result from that activity.

Attempts at using this method of control are increasing. Last year a Supreme Court justice accused opponents of immoral compelled speech of “weaponizing the First Amendment.”

It is important to shore up the foundations of free speech both in principle and in practice.

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