No, a web platform’s decision to restrict speech doesn’t strip it of 47 U.S.C. § 230 immunity

The Volokh Conspiracy

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Eugence Volokh

“Lots of people have argued that, even if online platforms should often be immune from liability for speech by their users, they should lose that immunity if they decide to restrict some users’ speech. … you might think that’s a good argument, or a bad argument. But it is precisely the argument that Congress rejected in passing 47 U.S.C. § 230. That quote is from a 1995 case called Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy, which held that Prodigy could be sued for its users’ libelous posts because Prodigy edited submissions …. Congress enacted § 230 to (among other things) overturn Stratton Oakmont. And in addition to providing immunity to platforms that edit (alongside those that don’t), Congress expressly protected their right to edit, notwithstanding any state laws that might aim to restrict that right …” (03/20/19)

Australia: Biggest telecom carriers block sites hosting mosque shooting video

Source: CNet News

“Australia’s biggest telecommunications carriers have blocked ‘dozens’ of websites that continue to host footage of the mosque shooting in New Zealand. Australia’s largest carrier Telstra issued a statement on Tuesday local time saying it had blocked a number of sites still hosting the footage, which shows a gunman storming a mosque in central Christchurch and gunning down worshippers as they prayed. Australia’s other major carriers Optus and Vodafone confirmed they had also blocked a number of sites. … While Telstra didn’t name the blocked sites, CNET was able to confirm that message board sites 8chan, 4chan and Voat were longer accessible through the Telstra network.” (03/20/19)

Gareth Porter on The Scott Horton Show

Source: Libertarian Institute

“Scott talks to Gareth Porter about war with Iran. Porter is still convinced most people realize that such a war would be so costly in lives and dollars that it’s not even worth considering, but worries about National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has been able to get his hooks into President Trump in the past.” [various formats] (03/19/19)

Government control over life and death — the battle continues

Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“Among the many ‘achievements’ of the recently seated Democrat House of Representatives are its attempts to further extend federal government control over our lives and deaths. Some of this is done in the guise of ‘better’ health care, which is now viewed by politicians (not just Democrats or Tranzis) as the responsibility of government. A major thrust by Pelosi and gang this year is the ‘Medicare for All Act’ (HR 1384), which seems to comingle the worst of ObummerCare with ‘new and fresh’ ideas which would have been very much welcomed (and were implemented) in the Dritte Reich in the 1930s.” (03/19/19)

America’s Venezuela strategy: Coup by sheer narrative control

Caitlin Johnstone

Source: Caitlin Johnstone Blog
by Caitlin Johnstone

“The Trump administration is working to overthrow the government of Venezuela. They are not at this time doing this by military invasion, nor by funneling thousands of armed militants into the country, nor even solely with starvation sanctions and CIA ops. The first and foremost means of overthrowing Venezuela’s government currently being utilized by the United States government is the low-risk, low-cost plan to simply control the stories that everyone tells themselves about who is in charge in Venezuela. Adept manipulators understand that humans are storytelling animals. … If everyone collectively decided today that poker chips are the new currency and Kim Kardashian is the Supreme Ruler of the Entire World, those stories would be the new reality, and tomorrow we’d all be doing whatever Empress Kim commands and Las Vegas would be the new Wall Street. … Everything the Trump administration does to Venezuela is done with the goal of controlling the stories people tell about it.” (03/20/19)

Palestine: Three Arabs killed by Israeli occupation troops

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“Israeli forces killed three Palestinians in two separate incidents on Tuesday night, Palestinian health ministry and emergency services said. Omar Abu Leila, 19, was suspected of carrying out a deadly stabbing-and-shooting attack in the occupied West Bank two days earlier. Abu Leila, who was on the run, was found in a house in the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah. He was killed after he opened fire at Israeli forces who had come to arrest him, the Israeli Shin Bet security service said. … In a separate incident, the Palestinian health ministry said two more Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Raed Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20, died after being shot late Tuesday by Israeli troops near the Joseph Tomb’s religious site close to the Palestinian city of Nablus, it said. … The Israeli army said in a statement explosives were hurled from a vehicle as Jewish worshippers visited the site late on Tuesday and ‘troops responded with live fire towards the vehicle.'” (03/20/19)

CQ Budget Podcast, episode 103

Source: Roll Call

“The president has proposed deep cuts to planned spending in Medicare and Medicaid, while trying to uphold austere limits on nondefense discretionary spending. But Congress is already talking about a rewrite. CQ’s Kellie Mejdrich explains what lawmakers might have in mind.” [various formats] (03/19/19)

Markets are more complex than our brains

Max Gulker, PhD

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Max Gulker

“I have a confession to make. Remember when Wall Street got off easy after that whole mess in 2008? That was my fault. You see, I spent months, years even, poring over those bankers’ books and trades, looking for every way I could get them off the hook. What can I say, I was fresh out of grad school, living in New York City — I had to pay the rent, didn’t I? My bad. This story is an example of what happens when we gloss over the complexity of the real world. We end up losing far more understanding than we often realize, and with strangely skewed perspectives on what happened and what to do about it.” (03/19/19)

TX: Border thugs abduct more than 400 travelers in five-minute span

Source: Fox News

“It took a mere five minutes on Tuesday morning for Border Patrol agents in Texas to [abduct] more than 400 illegal [sic] immigrants. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), agents near the wall just west of Bowie High School in El Paso encountered a group of 194 illegals [sic] around 2:45 a.m. Just five minutes later, agents snagged a second group — this time, it was 245 people — near downtown El Paso. The immigrants mainly comprised families and unaccompanied minors from Central America.” (03/19/19)

Humans of Bitcoin, 03/19/19

Humans of Bitcoin


“You’ve seen [Kevin Pham] on Twitter. But that’s just 240 characters. Was once a leftist Marxist after seeing the injustices of Wells Fargo. Now a supporter of free markets and skin in the game. This is his story.” [various formats] (03/19/19)