Over the past few days there were articles everywhere on how the New York Post published an article accusing the former US Vice President’s son of various actions by allegedly obtaining e-mail documents through a computer that he left at a computer shop. So as normal nowadays they share a link to its article on sites such as Twitter and people who find it useful then start to re-publish that link to get more attention for it.
This was the interesting part as Twitter deemed this article as potentially false while going against their terms of services claiming the documents were obtained through hacking and proceeded to disable the ability for anyone to share that article. As well, people who were sharing it were actually getting banned from the site. Some of these people were high profiled individuals as well which resulted in an immediate backlash as the company had to reverse its decision everything.
That led me to learn about the business classification that social media sites fall under in the US that enables them to essentially do what they without risk per se. In this case, apparently every platform such as Twitter and Facebook are consider as just that, a platform. Therefore, they can’t immediately be held liable if someone says something that is untrue as an example. With this example though, by censoring speech and information in this manner apparently they would be considered as a publisher instead. That opens them up to all kinds of legal problems now that would be no different than say a person like myself publishing some information.
So apparently this will be investigated now. But it makes you think that sometimes you shouldn’t try and play the moderator if your real goal was to simply create a platform that facilitates other people to share and create work. Will be interesting to see what happens.