Thursday, January 12, 2017

Backpage could cause Section 230 to unravel


Nicholas Kristof, a journalist who focuses on poverty and third-world issues, has an op-ed on p. A31 of today’s New York Times, “A Website Peddling Girls for Sex”.  He’s talking about Backpage.com.

 The visitor can read the details here, but it seems that ads get edited to remove suggestions of underage girls.  Credit card companies have stopped accepting transactions from Backpage. '

Kristof suggests that Section 230 of the CDA should be modified to make service providers potentially liable for underage trafficking, but I thought that this exception already existed. Meddling with Section 230 for this purpose could lead to gutting it for other reasons in a Trump administration, because Trump is not sympathetic to simultaneous online self-expression (despite his own tweeting).

Electronic Frontier Foundation weighs in on the issue today in detail here, in an article by Sophia Cope.   This is a very slippery slope that we’ll have to return to again.

For the sordid details on the Senate hearings and Backpage, visit Techdirt and USA Today.

Remember Ashton Kutcher’s mantra: “Real men don’t buy girls.”

No comments: