A Thought on Section 230

Rick White, Republican Representative from Washington at the end of the last century, had a thought on Section 230—he wants to repair it rather than eliminate it—and so (of course) do I. He began with this:

…some saying it allows big tech companies to censor political views, and others saying it enables the spread of disinformation.

What far too many who should know better miss, though, is that both of these are true; it’s not a matter being mutually exclusive, or even a matter of one or the other.

What those worthies also miss is that only one of them is of any concern at all. Regardless of the bleatings of the Know Betters in the press and in our political elites, ordinary Americans are fully capable of discriminating (uncensored) disinformation from (uncensored) misinformation from (uncensored) information.

One idea that White suggested in lieu of eliminating Section 230 was this, and he was serious about it:

We could also establish a plan for self-regulation by the online industry.

It’s hard to see how White could be so naive or so…misinformed. The online industry isn’t the problem. The small cartel of social media is the problem. And we’re already seeing what Jack Dorsey’s, Mark Zuckerberg’s, and Sundar Pichai’s self-regulation looks like.

Section 230 is beyond repair; the conditions extant when it was written no longer obtain. Pipelines don’t manage the information flowing through them. Publishers do.

The Section needs repeal.

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