Social media law roundup

  • Was this an entry in a contest to draft the most unconstitutional bill? “Florida Bill Would Make It a Crime for Minors to Post Pictures of Guns on Social Media” [Eugene Volokh]
  • “Everyone involved in politics has bad days, when one’s interests conflict with one’s ideals.” But conservatives should resist the temptation to call in government to regulate the Internet [John Samples] New Republican interest in antitrust explainable by wish to bust corporations considered unfriendly to Republicans [Steven Greenhut]
  • Lafayette, La. mother jailed after posting video to social media showing fight between two high school students [Megan Wyatt, The Advocate; editorial; Dave Cohen, WWL]
  • Suit over online harassment could puncture liability protections of Section 230, some hope and others fear [Elizabeth Nolan Brown]
  • “So, to be blunt here, Warren’s campaign screwed up with its ad design [by] including the [Facebook] logo.” The really bad part, though, was the spinning afterward [Scott Shackford]
  • Tweeting wrong sorts of things about gender can result in a visit from the British police, cont’d [Tom Potter, Ipswich Star (Suffolk; quoting local activist who “said police had a right to intervene if it was felt the posts were causing offence.”)] And another case from Hitchin, Hertfordshire [Martin Beckford, Daily Mail; earlier here, here, etc.
  • Content moderation “is, in many ways, the commodity that platforms offer.” Will they be left free to offer it? [Will Duffield, Cato Journal, reviewing Custodians of the Internet by Tarleton Gillespie]


  • From the article on the mom being arrested for posting a video of a fight:

    “The police chief said he isn’t worried about a lawsuit.

    ‘Anybody can sue anybody for anything these days,” Leger said. “Is it something that concerns me? No. Is it something that can happen? Yes.'”

    Sounds like someone needs to find a new job.

    The arrogance of this is simply breathtaking. This woman was essentially kidnapped by an armed person and kept illegally confined overnight. There will be no criminal punishment, although their should be. And this guy makes light of it? Let’s see what would happen if he got arrested for some nonsense charge? Bet he would be hopping mad.

    The utter lack of concern about the victimization of another human being is shocking.

    • The police chief shouldn’t be concerned about a lawsuit.

      After all, it is the taxpayers and not him or even his department budget that will pay do defend the suit.

      “It’s not my money, so why should I care?”

      • Insert sardonic smile here ______________.

  • Looks like the thugs in Scott, Louisiana are doubling down on the video posting of the fight:

    If she is prosecuted, she should retaliate by filing bar complaints against all involved—including the judge, if necessary.

  • “Content moderation “is, in many ways, the commodity that platforms offer.” Will they be left free to offer it?”

    More importantly will there still be room for platforms that offer unmoderated content?

  • Wait a sec…..

    If the woman is being charged with “unlawfully posting criminal activity for notoriety or publicity,” wouldn’t that mean that if a citizen recorded something like the mayor of a town getting into a fight, or a City Council member being stopped for DUI or the police beating someone up, wouldn’t that mean that a person posting a video of those incidents could be arrested and charged under the same theory?

  • I don’t know anyone who uses facebook for its moderation policies. I certainly do not know anyone who started using [x] for its moderation policies. I do know one customer who stopped using an ISP because they were providing him the “service” of filtering his email… As I expressed to them, I pay you to deliver my email to me, not to throw it away. And further expressed that “If I wanted it filtered, I am quite capable of doing so myself”. Thank god I actually had a choice of providers at the time. And to think it was all because they filtered my brother-in-laws emails to his sister because they didn’t trust that domain…