Opeds

Social Media Has Enabled People-Driven Politics, So Why Regulate It?

Daily Caller

Throughout history, established interests worry whenever more power is given to the people. When Guttenberg unveiled the printing press it empowered “commoners” with a new way to disseminate information and ideas. Of course the Crown and Church worried about their loss of control which ultimately led to new religions and emerging democracies.

Social media is the modern-day printing press. Empowering people across the world to challenge the established powers that be. We wouldn’t have had movements like the Arab Spring, Occupy, MeToo, BlackLivesMatter, Haiti relief, or even the Ice Bucket Challenge were it not for social media connecting citizens.

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Deepfakes are a problem — So what is the solution?

The Hill

“Deepfakes” is the latest scary buzz word circling Capitol Hill. It’s basically a fake video made to look real.

But “deepfakes” is really just a new word for “photoshopping” of digital images. It can be putting a face on someone else’s body with the intent to deceive, or it might be an obvious attempt at satire (like John Snow apologizing for Season 8 of Game of Thrones).

Sen. Hawley Has a Bill That Could Put the KKK in Your Newsfeed

Content moderation is how online platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a safe place for their users to create, share, and consume news and views. Some online platforms moderate extreme political content so their users doesn’t see white supremacist content next to family photos and cat videos.

But Sen. Hawley’s “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act,” would force online platforms to host politically extreme content that most of us would prefer to avoid online, such as views and videos produced by the KKK.

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For antitech activists, no fine is too high — Even $5 Billion from Facebook

Following the news that Facebook set aside $3 billion to pay an FTC fine of up to $5 billion, many in D.C. wait for news about the FTC’s investigation into the social media business.

Yet, antitech advocates already decided that the yet to be announced FTC fine is not enough.

Read more on Medium…

Spotify’s Song of Relationship Problems With Apple Would Make Taylor Swift Proud

Morning Consult

Taylor Swift is famous for saying “Haters gonna hate” and it seems as though popular music streaming service Spotify has taken that lyric to heart as it launched its haters campaign against Apple Music. Spotify turned on the water works as it cried to European regulators that Apple was abusing its market power to prevent Spotify’s success. What’s worse, Europeans are listening to Spotify’s song of despair.

DMCA Notice and Takedown Just won’t work for Content Moderation

Anew argument for “reforming” content moderation law is replacing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act with a Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice and takedown for copyrighted material approach for all content moderation. In essence, the proposal would require platforms like Reddit or Yelp to takedown comments and reviews upon notice from the disparaged party — similar to the notice and take-down model for copyright.

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Tech Giants Should Have The Freedom To Kick Conservatives Off Their Platforms

This month, conservative senators held a hearing on tech companies “stifling free speech.” Before the hearing, senators read the decision of a Trump-appointed judge in Freedom Watch v. Google — a recent case tackling accusations of bias.

In the case, Judge Trevor McFadden threw out a lawsuit filed by Freedom Watch and activist Laura Loomer against YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter. Freedom Watch demanded the court stop the platforms from demonetizing and age-rating their content.

Read more at Daily Caller

Morning Consult – HUD’s Ben Carson Seems Confused About Online Advertising

Ben Carson, the secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, recently sued Facebook for failing to show certain housing ads to all 218 million Americans who use Facebook.  Rather than just prosecuting the advertisers who placed the ads, Carson wants to hold Facebook liable for discrimination in how these advertisers directed their ads to be shown.

Discrimination in housing is against the law. But why would HUD prosecute platforms — rather than the landlords and realtors who discriminated when placing their ads?  That’s a legally tenuous tactic that just distracts from that actual problems of discrimination. If upheld, HUD’s prosecution of Facebook would let the actual discriminators off the hook, while penalizing an innovative American company and its users.

Read more here…

FTC Commissioner Chopra Misreads Section 230 on Whether it Applies to Advertising

In his statement at the ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting 2019, Commissioner Chopra said, “A company engaged in or benefiting from behavioral advertising is not acting necessarily as a passive conduit…we need to consider whether they have lost Section 230 immunity.”

In one word, no. Commissioner Chopra is wrong in his reading of Section 230of the Communications Decency Act.

In this blog, we’ll show that nothing in the law itself, or the way it’s being interpreted, would suggest that promoted content is not protected by Section 230.

Read more here…

NetChoice Response to Sen. Warren’s Medium Post “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”

NetChoice Response to Sen. Warren’s Medium Post “Here’s how we can break up Big Tech”

Consumers and Small Businesses would lose from Sen. Warren’s proposal to break-up Amazon, Facebook, and Google

Senator Warren’s new draconian attack on tech threatens to throttle innovation, kneecap user experience, increase prices for goods, and threaten America’s leadership in tech.

It seems that in Sen. Warren’s eyes, all large businesses are bad businesses — but the middle class whom she tries to fight for greatly benefit from the very businesses she wants to rip apart — such as Google and Facebook.

Read more here

Daily Caller – Amazon’s Growth Shows Tech Competition is Alive And Well

Daily Caller – Amazon’s Growth Shows Tech Competition is Alive And Well

It’s become unfortunately common for anti-business advocates to demand that government break up successful American businesses. The demands have no basis in traditional antitrust law, and so many in Washington are calling the movement “hipster-antitrust.” Instead of focusing on general consumer welfare, the movement seeks to include notions of income inequality, unemployment and wage growth under the antitrust umbrella.

Barbara Comstock column: Data centers keep Virginia a strong leader in the 21st-century tech economy

In 2011, Virginia lost out to North Carolina on the construction of a $1 billion data center that Apple was planning. What tipped the balance in favor of the Tar Heel State was an ongoing commitment to update their tax structure to remain competitive in attracting this 21st-century booming business.

A 21st Century Tea Party Against A Modern European Overreach - Real Clear Policy

The Boston Tea Party was an exhibition of resolve against unjust and unfair taxes imposed from the other side of the Atlantic, where European rulers were plundering American success. Fast-forward 240 years; American businesses once again are enduring unfair taxation and treatment from across the pond, now under the guise of “protecting privacy.”

When Regulating New Tech Harms Public Safety - Route 50

Also featured in NextGov

Humans innately use facial recognition from the moment we are born. Now our tech devices are mimicking our own facial recognition skills to provide tremendous new conveniences that streamline our lives. This emerging technology already helps us to unlock our phones and doors, bypass the need for passwords, and expedite security clearance at airports. More applications are just around the corner.

The British Are Coming — And This Time It’s for the 4th Amendment

Only weeks ago, the British government undermined our judicial process and attacked an American company. While this may sound like front page news, almost no one reported the violation of due process or came to the defense of this company — Facebook.

American company Six4Three has been engaging in a legal battle with Facebook over API access in California. Facebook’s intra-company emails were obtained as part of the suit and were protected from disclosure by a California Court. But Britain’s government ignored the judge’s order against disclosure, therefore ignoring American law and widely held notions of the rule of law.

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An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

Moving to a populist antitrust standard would undermine market-certainty and make the success of businesses contingent on whichever political party controls the White House. Antitrust would no longer be a tool for innovation but instead become a weapon for politicians to cut-down opponents. Moreover, it would serve to only increase the intra-fighting among Western business.

America must avoid such a devolution and Congress must step-up to stop in-fighting, which helps only the lawyers, some old-world competitors, and rival kingdoms seeking to displace America’s innovation leadership.

There’s no question that “Winter is coming.” The question is, are America’s leaders prepared to defend our kingdom?

Louisville Should Protect Homeowners, Not Big Hotels

Louisville Should Protect Homeowners, Not Big Hotels

Here’s hoping the Louisville City Council puts citizens ahead of big hotel chains and chooses not to advance this property-right sapping legislation. Because if this bill passes, there’ll be less money in residents pockets and the big hotels will be the ones taking home the purse.

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

Tucker Carlson’s Attack on Section 230 Could Harm Conservative Voices Online

Tucker Carlson’s Attack on Section 230 Could Harm Conservative Voices Online

We can’t blame Carlson for pushing policies that would likely help his TV show, but conservatives must stick to their principles and steer clear of any policy that would hinder the future of their movement.