One of this historical moments when citizens step in to limit the violent excesses of their rulers
By declaring social media a de facto broadcaster, Trump has made it follow the Ernestine the Operator principle: "We handle 84 billion calls a year, everything from kings, queens, and presidents to the scum of the earth"
(those categories can overlap)
It appears that Dorsey and Zuckerberg are taking opposite sides of the classic “telephone exchange or radio station” debate about online platforms. During the era of blogs and web comment boards, this question tied up a lot of media time...
Newspapers discovered that comment pages were full of hateful and libellous stuff, by the sort of people who’d run for president the next decade. Their lawyers warned them: you’re either viewed legally as a telephone exchange—not responsible for stuff people say—or a broadcaster.
The thinking then was: If you take down or even show awareness of even one hateful comment, then you’re legally a broadcaster, which means you’re responsive for ALL the content. Moderating it all would be unaffordable. So for some years on many platforms it was all left untouched
For classic blogs and ye olde comment pages, the legal reality proved to be more flexible in practice, and good-enough moderation became affordable (and automated). Plus, blogs and comment pages died out, and people stopped caring.

Now it’s erupted again on social media
The US president’s executive order, if it had legal value (it doesn’t) would push social platforms hard in the “broadcaster” category—they’re legally responsible for everything that gets said on their platforms.

Zuckerberg, after some waffling, has resisted this interpretation
If taken literally, SM platforms would have to hire hundreds of thousands of moderators. Twitter has a compromise: that have only thousands, to deal with seriously law-breaking stuff *if someone complains about it*. That’s not how it works in broadcasting — you own it all
Anyway, what makes this a historical juncture is that the broadcaster/phone-exchange debate is being forced by a US president who is BOTH THE SUBJECT AND THE OBJECT of the debate — he is trying to legally force decisions around his own acts of violence-inciting speech
Yes. For years, “moderate nothing” was considered the only viable approach. But it was harming the reputation of media outlets. And then it was made obsolete.
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