Texas Social Media law upheld

Bmyers

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https://www.lawfareblog.com/fifth-circuit-upholds-texas-social-media-law

My guess it will end up at SCOTUS. The question is who has the right to regulate free speech? This court ruling says that companies do NOT have the right to regulate speech on social media platforms.

It is an interesting debate since many social media platforms have become the defacto public square where debate occurs. Yet, what about the right of the forum owner?

Which, I realize this is only a Texas law, but since the internet is not respect of location, currently under this law a moderator could face legal challenges from anyone in Texas if a post is moderated. If SCOTUS upholds this law, the ability of forums to be moderated could greatly change.

It is something that is worth watching. I haven't decided yet how I feel about it. I think I lean more towards less moderation, providing the owner of the forum can't be held liable what is posted on their forum.
 
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jimh406

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The interesting thing is what is a platform. For instance, there is FB and Twitter that are dominant in their types. But, when competitors were started, they were immediately shut down by platforms like AWS.

So, sounds like the word plaform will have to be defined or small “social media” sites like this one will fall into the ruling.

But, maybe the word platform is specific enough to not require more definition past the ruling.
 

jkrubi12

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Very interesting situation; I'll admit that I have not read the entire 113-page ruling, but I think that the way 'platforms' will continue to moderate content will be by restricting admission to the platform, possibly by creating qualifying 'hurdles' one must cross in order to be admitted to the platform. :oops:
 

GreensvilleJay

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The court is wrong.

The SM 'platforms' are not preventing anyone from their 'right to free speech'. They ARE upholding the conditions of their 'Terms of Use' (aka EuLA) though. It's really boils down to simple, well established 'contract law'.
You, the 'end user', clicked on a button (or something..) to AGREE to the 'Terms of Use' for permission to use their 'platform' (program, website, whatever'. If you violate ANY of the conditions(you agreed to), then there are 'penalties'. One of the best shows on this was a 'Marketplace' episode 3-4 years ago.

The easy solution for anyone wanting to have total 100% 'right to free speech' is to buy a server, add an app, and post whatever you want ,whenever you want, on YOUR equipment.
 
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jimh406

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The easy solution for anyone wanting to have total 100% 'right to free speech' is to buy a server, add an app, and post whatever you want ,whenever you want, on YOUR equipment.
Feel free to think this is true even if it is impossible to implement independently.
 

DustyRusty

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In theory, I agree with GreensvilleJay, however, the courts no longer see these public forums as stand-alone entities that are free to govern themselves. That is the reason that newspapers have an Op-Ed Page where the public can disagree with the position that the newspaper might take on a particular story.
It is now considered that your "freedom of speech" ends when it offends someone else. Now it is called "hate speech" and it is illegal. It all started when a court said that it was not legal to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, and I agree with this determination. However, the courts and the politicians that don't agree with the masses are slowly attempting to remove our ability to decent. What once made this country great is slowly being eroded away, and the process has been accelerating in recent years. Politicians are attempting to quell the masses into submission by the use of our justice system and the corruption within by some of the people that control the justice system. We need to root out those that believe that the results justify the means taken to get the desired results that the politicians desire.
 
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jimh406

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You don’t have to offend someone. You only have to post an unapproved opinion to be censored, and that’s the issue.
 

DustyRusty

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You don’t have to offend someone. You only have to post an unapproved opinion to be censored, and that’s the issue.
The same can be said for any forum. If you want to play in someone else sandbox, you have to play with their rules. If you don't like the rules, then build your own sandbox. I see it more often than I like that you have to be careful on this forum not to become too political. Unfortunately, many times the only answer that you can give is going to be politically correct to some and incorrect to others. If a forum doesn't want politics discussed, then it should ban the subject completely and do away with the forum where the discussions start. If we didn't have differing opinions, then we wouldn't be humans, we would be androids.
 

jkrubi12

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An example: You install a dry-erase 'whiteboard' in your front yard where it can be read by everyone who passes by. You write your personal 'message' on there for the world to see.

Then, one of your neighbors comes over, erases your message and writes their own message on there.

Do you have the right to erase the neighbor's message and re-install your own?

Does your neighbor have the right to erase your message and install their own?

Who's 'platform' is the whiteboard? it's yours IMO. But can you write a message that is offensive or irritating to your neighbor? What can they do about it? Can they 'trespass' onto your property and 'rectify' what they perceive as a wrong?

If it's your platform, you are the moderator. Can the 'Government' come by and restrict what you place onto your 'platform'?

I'll understand if members here feel that this example is not directly applicable to the Texas court ruling, or to this thread specifically. But I feel that the above-mentioned court ruling is an example of the Government exercising 'control' over the freedom of speech. Furthermore, I believe that the Government has a duty and responsibility to place guidelines upon Society (call them 'Laws') which serve to protect citizens and restrict offenders.

As I said in my previous post, I find it to be a very interesting situation and it's likely to end up in the SCOTUS as one member stated.

I also find it quite interesting that a member here who lists his residence as Canada weighed in on an American state court ruling. No offense intended GJ, but are things in the Great White North any different than down here in the USofA? I would never think of it as allowable that American law would serve to restrict a Canadian citizen in any way. I (unfortunately) have little knowledge about much things Canadian, an embarrassing American admission.
 

GreensvilleJay

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re: I would never think of it as allowable that American law would serve to restrict a Canadian citizen in any way.
One shining example...
I can't get into the USA anymore without a passport (and mine died 5 years after Dale Ernhart Sr. died)
For over 6 decades I have been allowed into the USA, using nothing as a kid, then just my drivers license or private pilots license. Seems that's changed since Covid ? Kinda odd the southern boarder is 'open' but not the 'northern' one.

White board is a good example, easy to understand. I'm sure 99.44% of computer users do not KNOW that they do NOT own the copy of Windows operating system on their computer. Again, part of the EULA that everyone 'check to continue....' that no one actually reads.
 

jimh406

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Seems like we are talking about two types of sites/platforms.

There are other hobby forums like this tractor forum. I don’t have a problem with this one censoring as they wish. Most have decided no politics are allowed. Well, sure sometimes thought squeeze by.

Then, there are major sites like FB/Twitter that have no viable competitor. Until the last election, I don’t think many people thought those in particular would go extreme with censoring only one political side to help one political side.

Think independent of your politics for a moment. Would you be happy if someone reversed the political control of FB/Twitter, and your side/group could no longer post what you thought was relevant?
 

DustyRusty

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I am sad to have to say that most Americans don't understand what Freedom of Speech actually means. It is a shame that our schools no longer have Civic classes and our colleges and universities no longer teach constitutional law as a general subject to all in attendance. Most likely they don't even teach it to those in the law program.
 

Fordtech86

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It is a shame that our schools no longer have Civic classes and our colleges and universities no longer teach constitutional law as a general subject to all in attendance.
it is a shame that parents allowed this to happen…
 
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DustyRusty

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it is a shame that parents allowed this to happen…
It was happening during the period of time that the parents were students and are now parents themselves. Unfortunately, the people that were teaching in the 1970s had already been indoctrinated during their time in college, and they kept passing that indoctrination down to the next group of instructors and teachers. When I was in college, we were taught to think and evaluate rather than blindly accept the thinking of others.
 
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Flintknapper

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It was happening during the period of time that the parents were students and are now parents themselves. Unfortunately, the people that were teaching in the 1970s had already been indoctrinated during their time in college, and they kept passing that indoctrination down to the next group of instructors and teachers. When I was in college, we were taught to think and evaluate rather than blindly accept the thinking of others.

^^^^

Same here. 1972-1976 we were taught HOW to think... not WHAT to think.

But I suppose it depends on where you went to school as well.
 

Sporto

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Oh come now EH! We don't all say it :ROFLMAO: Well ok maybe some (most) do.
 
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