Reddit Section 230 FCC Comments Trump Social Media Executive Order

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Tech Tuesday: Could Trump end Reddit as we know it?

The social media giant issued a dire warning, and more news.

Sep 8, 2020, 2:08 pm*

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

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Welcome to the “Tech Tuesday” edition of the Internet Insider.

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In today’s “Tech Tuesday” edition of the Internet Insider

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BREAK THE INTERNET

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Reddit says Trump’s social media order could destroy the site

Reddit is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reject a petition for rulemaking to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, saying that if the section changes it would change the very trajectory of the internet.

Earlier this summer, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a part of the executive branch, filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC to amend Section 230. The petition stemmed from President Donald Trump’s social media executive order. 

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Section 230 shields websites from being held liable for what is posted on them by third parties and has been hailed as “one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the internet.”

As part of the process, the FCC is collecting public comments about the petition. Reddit filed its comment earlier this week, arguing that a change in Section 230 would not only threaten the website, but the individual moderators for the site’s subreddits.

“It is our view that the debate on Section 230 too often focuses solely on very large, centrally moderated platforms—and individual grievances with them—to the exclusion of smaller, differently organized websites that take an alternative approach,” Reddit’s comment reads, adding: “However, the most important point that we offer, as we hope to make clear in this filing, is that with regard to Reddit and other community-moderated websites, Section 230 protects our individual users just as much as it does us. Their continued protection is crucial to the viability of community-based moderation online.”

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—Andrew Wyrich, deputy tech editor


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SPONSORED

The best face mask can’t be found on Amazon.

At this point the science is settled: Everyone should be wearing a face mask to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The best option to protect yourself and your family are FDA-registered surgical masks—but where should you buy them? There are a ton of “medical masks” being sold in pharmacies, gas stations, and on Amazon, but are they legit? If you get a fake pair of Converse, it’s a bummer. But if you get a surgical mask that doesn’t provide the protection you think it does during a global pandemic? You’ve got a problem. A big one.

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Armbrust USA is an American manufacturer of FDA-registered, ASTM Level 2-rated, disposable surgical masks made in Austin, Texas. The millions of masks produced each week in the company’s sterile manufacturing plant are used by hospitals, state governments, and, now that they’re available online directly, hopefully you.

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TECH OVERLORDS

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Facebook’s big new election ads plan is filled with loopholes

Facebook is banning new political ads from running during the week leading up to the upcoming election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced.

The move comes as the social media giant has faced intense scrutiny over its policy regarding them, especially when compared to other social media platforms. The company essentially allows political ads to say whatever they want, even if the information is false.

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Here’s why it matters: While Facebook is finally taking some action, there are still loopholes. New political ads will be banned during the week ahead of the election on Nov. 3, but any existing ones already running will be able to continue being shown, Zuckerberg said.

While it may be a step, you have to wonder if it will be enough considering the scrutiny Facebook has faced over its political ads policy—especially compared to what other tech giants have done. 

—A.W.

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BTW

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SINKING

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Numerous boats in Texas sank on Saturday during a “Trump Boat Parade” on Lake Travis. 

The event, which was organized on Facebook, called on participants to “make a statement” by adorning their boats “in patriotic colors” while flying “as many Trump flags as she can handle.”

While it’s uncertain how many boats came, the event page for the Trump Boat Parade states that over 2,600 people were in attendance

Not long after the event started, reports began coming in about large wakes due to the significant presence on the water.

At least four boats are believed to have taken on water, causing those onboard to either flee or wait for rescue. 

Here’s why it matters: As you’d expect, the bizarre incident immediately led to widespread ridicule online. Many argued that the sinking boats were a perfect representation of the president’s reelection campaign.

—Mikael Thalen, contributing writer


Now reading: The Institute by Stephen King

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*First Published: Sep 8, 2020, 2:05 pm