How Twitter and Facebook Moderation Rules Are Set Up to Fail

Sean Burch
·1-min read

Twitter and Facebook’s decision last week to block the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, has made their arbitrary and capriciously-enforced moderation policies into a joke. It’s also put the legal safeguards they enjoy in jeopardy. For both companies, the goal was to not be the story in 2020, much as they were following the 2016 election. That has backfired spectacularly. Instead, their decisions last week have made them an even bigger story heading into this year’s election. That’s a direct result of having rules that few understand, are enforced seemingly at random and can appear to change on a whim. What’s at stake? User confidence in their platforms, for one thing. Some users could ultimately ditch Facebook or Twitter if they believe the companies are playing political favorites. Regulatory crackdowns are also in play. The FCC has announced it’s looking to “clarify” the framework of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is the broad legal shield that allows tech companies to moderate content as they see fit. Any changes to this quarter-century old legislation could severely dent Twitter and Facebook’s businesses. If you missed it, the Post last Wednesday...

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