Episode 80 – Facebook Trying to Avoid Liability – Are they Publisher or a Platform Under the Law

Episode 80 – Facebook Trying to Skirt the Law Again – Are they a Platform or Publisher.

Tony and Matt are back from touring and coming in hot. This week they explore whether Facebook, twitter and the various other social media juggernauts are controlling our flow of information without taking any responsibility or liability for it. We go all the way back to the beginning of the internet and discuss the old Prodigy case, remember them. The courts agreed that even though they were a platform they could take down obscene content to protect from the late 90s rash of pedofiles sneaking into chat rooms! Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency act to allow for this type of oversight but it seems Zuckerberg, Dorsey and co. have decided to overreach and ban anyone who disagrees with them. For once Tony and Matt find themselves in agreement with Donnie Jr. and co who feel that Facebook is trying to have it both ways. If you’re a platform, you generally must remain content neutral. If you’re a publisher, you can take ownership over who gets to speak on your site, but you open yourself up to all kinds of liability that Congress shielded platforms from. Facebook is trying to have it both ways but it seems like the public and Congress is fed up. We’re eager to see how this plays out in the courts and in the legislature.
 
As always come to a show, next one is June 6th at the Hollywood Improv.
 
Follow us @toekneesam @mattritter1 @legallynsanepod. 

Matt Ritter
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