Beto O'Rourke wants to ban internet forums hate speech

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Alfa1

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Safe harbour and hate speech on internet forums has become a talking point in the 2020 Presidential Election.
The former Texas congressman is also calling for social media giants to be held liable if they fail to take steps to prevent content that incites violence. All internet companies would be held liable if they promote such content.
O'Rourke is also calling for internet platforms to be required to adopt terms of service that ban hateful activities, which his campaign defined as "those that incite or engage in violence, intimidation, harassment, threats, or defamation targeting an individual or group based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability."
Large internet platforms would be required to put in place systems that are intended to identify violations of those terms and to have an appeals process when they block content.
O'Rourke is proposing to remove legal immunity from large social media companies that fail to meet those requirements. And, in an effort to halt internet forums where white supremacy has flourished, such as 8chan and Stormfront, from returning, he is proposing to hold service providers liable "where they are found to knowingly promote content that incites violence."
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/08/16/politics/beto-orourke-plan-gun-violence-white-nationalism/index.html
 

TrixieTang

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Who the hell cares what ROBERT FRANCIS wants? He's not going to be President.
 

Jim McClain

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Define "incites violence" and "fail to take steps".
O'Rourke isn't a member here, so obviously can't answer. It's an idea he expressed, so it isn't like it's all hashed out and ready for a vote. And he doesn't seem to be the type to just do what he wants via Executive Order, if he became President. Perhaps some changes will evolve from these ideas, no matter who becomes our 46th president. It might not be so bad if some version of these ideas come to fruition. Why shouldn't webmasters be accountable in some fashion for the content on their sites?
 

Ingenious

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Nothing to see here really, he's calling for TOS that most sane forums already have. I think we all have TOS that refuse to allow trolling, hate, racism, unlawful activities etc? And when this happens we or moderators take action to deal with it, so we are already holding ourselves accountable.

The notion that a site is "not responsible" for user content is largely a smoke screen created by $$$$$ making concerns for whom dealing with problems would cost money and therefore needs to be avoided unless legislation forces them to. But good communities DO care what is posted.
 

MagicalAzareal

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The problem with this comes from the idea that it might impose unrealistic constraints on sites and that they might just opt to immediately take content down without questioning it as that it the path of least resistance.
 

Jim McClain

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...it might impose unrealistic constraints...
What would those be? Is it unreasonable to hold someone accountable for what they own, how it is used and, in most cases, how they make money off it? Since O'Rourke didn't offer specific details as to what these "constraints" would be, we don't know if any of them would be unrealistic.
 

MagicalAzareal

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What would those be? Is it unreasonable to hold someone accountable for what they own, how it is used and, in most cases, how they make money off it? Since O'Rourke didn't offer specific details as to what these "constraints" would be, we don't know if any of them would be unrealistic.
From experiance with every other law passed by politicians lately.
 

Joeychgo

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That's exactly what they said about Trump. :(

O'Rourke's ideas might be a bit over-reach, but might also have some merit.
There are a number of reasons this would never happen. The courts would block any such law under freedom of speech. Even if they somehow got past that - how would you even enforce such a law? It would take millions of law enforcement officers to monitor all the websites out there and take action.

Its political rhetoric -- just like Mexico is gonna pay for the wall.
 

Jim McClain

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There are a number of reasons this would never happen. The courts would block any such law under freedom of speech. Even if they somehow got past that - how would you even enforce such a law? It would take millions of law enforcement officers to monitor all the websites out there and take action.

Its political rhetoric -- just like Mexico is gonna pay for the wall.
Could be rhetoric, there's a lot of that going around. But they've found a way to make bartenders and owners accountable for drunks; they have made it a crime to shout FIRE in crowded venues and there are already laws banning certain other forms of expression. So, there are a number of reasons this would happen, even if it's all watered down. Then some politician will also claim this would be a wonderful job creator - more law enforcement, more lawyers, more forum moderators. ;)
 

MagicalAzareal

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The courts would block any such law under freedom of speech.
Not necessarily, they could block such a law, you really overestimate the power (and will) of the courts. Even if they do block it, it could be in force for quite a while before it is blocked.
 

Wetworx

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It appears that the Left requires us to not use our 1st Amendment rights, to protect those rights. You know?
 

Joeychgo

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It appears that the Left requires us to not use our 1st Amendment rights, to protect those rights. You know?
lets not get into the left/right politics stuff. Both sides do what serves them at the moment.
 
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