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Section 230

Twenty-six words that created the internet, and the future of an encyclopedia

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JPxG is a welder, forklift driver, software engineer, message board administrator, and Wikipedia editor who has written a number of articles for the Signpost, and a number for Wikipedia, including "Extremely Online", which he has been since some time around 1999.

In two major English-speaking countries, two separate legal mechanisms are working their way through two separate processes. The first is a United States Supreme Court case regarding §230 of the Communications Decency Act, and the second is a proposed Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom "intended to improve internet safety". Both have wide-ranging implications for posters, lurkers, and everyone in between, and both have been the subject of fierce debate. Both are also the subject of special reports in this issue of the Signpost – the other is at Special report.

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This is an issue that is only going to grow more serious, & glad to see some attention to it here. Critics from the left claim that social networking platforms offer profiling & recommendation mechanisms that allow groups to spread their propaganda to unwitting users. Critics from the right complain that they are the target of shadow banning. These social networking platforms depend on selling targeted advertising to stay profitable, while at the same time some form of moderation has been needed since the days of Usenet. -- llywrch (talk) 08:30, 5 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Only the walled-garden social networks depend on advertising. The Fediverse (which includes servers running Pixelfed, PeerTube, Mastodon (software)) generally has per-server moderation by the community running that server. And the Fediverse is certainly at risk from these sorts of legislative attacks. Of course, the walled-garden networks currently dominate in terms of numbers of users, like Britannica dominated in the early days of Wikipedia. We'll find out over the coming years how much bigger numbers of people appreciate interoperability, which effectively provides freedom of association (as opposed to walled-garden-ism). A diverse ecosystem is more likely to survive legislative attacks than a monolithic system. Boud (talk) 20:00, 10 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • My mistake for omitting personal harassment; I was trying to be balanced about the issues. That is a very important matter, but one that I do not see will be easily resolved -- due to anonymity & flexibility in identity -- if ever. --- llywrch (talk) 18:04, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Sorry, Llywrch, this was supposed to be a general comment rather than a response to you specifically (and definitely not meant to be a criticism). — Bilorv (talk) 13:34, 15 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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