Melon Farmers Original Version

Internet Censorship in US

Left leaning media companies cancel the right


Tweet tweet...

US appeals court rules that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act still shields platforms from liability for user posted content

Link Here4th May 2023

A US federal appeals court has dismissed a law suit accusing Twitter of profiting from sex trafficking by not stopping a paying customer from post nude photos of two 13-year-old boys. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals relied on a 1996 federal law that shields tech platforms from liability for content posted by others, a law now under review in the Supreme Court.

The law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, was intended to promote online dialogue and self-regulation by platforms such as Twitter, Google and Facebook by immunizing them from suits over content from their customers, in contrast to publications like newspapers and magazines, which have no such immunity.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero previously ruled that Section 230 shielded Twitter from the families' claims of participating in child pornography and sex trafficking but allowed them to sue the company for allegedly profiting from the traffickers' illegal conduct. The appeals court, however, said such claims were also barred by a Ninth Circuit ruling last fall in a suit against the online network Reddit.



Connecticut speech censor...

Connecticut sets in motion a law to set up a speech censor board made up of politicians

Link Here 5th April 2023
The Connecticut state legislature plans to pass Senate Bill 6410, which would see the creation of a censorship board. The board would study online harassment of individuals and government officials and recommend laws to censor speech. The board would have nine members, four of them from the minority Republican Party and presumably five from the Democratic Party.

The bill states:

Such assessment shall include, but need not be limited to,

  1. short term and long term effects of harassing behaviors online on elected officials, public officials and residents of this state,

  2. what state or municipal action is needed to address negative online behaviors that consider a citizen's right to freedom of speech versus an individual's right to be free from harassment including, but not limited to, potential changes in state law concerning additional penalties or enforcement of online harassment, and

  3. establishing guidelines for the reporting of online harassment of elected state and municipal officials that find a balance between making elected officials accessible to the people whom they serve and protecting them from abusive, offensive, or threatening online harassment.

The bill was approved by a committee on March 17 and now awaits a vote in the house.



Extract: Is This the End of the Internet As We Know It?...

This month, the US Supreme Court heard two cases that could forever change the way we interact online.

Link Here 23rd February 2023

Two pending Supreme Court cases interpreting a 1996 law could drastically alter the way we interact online. That law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, is often disparaged as a handout to Big Tech, but that misses the point. Section 230 promotes free speech by removing strong incentives for platforms to limit what we can say and do online.

Under Section 230, platforms generally may not be held liable for the content posted by users. Without this protection, important speech such as communication about abortion, especially in states where abortion is outlawed, could be silenced. Movements like #MeToo and #BLM may not have been able to catch on if platforms were worried that they'd be sued, even improperly, for defamation or other claims. People could have found their voices censored, especially when talking about ideas that are under political attack today: race and racism , sexuality , and gender justice . The internet as we know it would be a very different place.

...see the full article from



Offsite Article: California's war on internet freedom...

Link Here 19th September 2022
New state laws claiming to protect children will infantilise us all. By Norman Lewis

See article from



Extract: Gavin Newsom Fucks Over The Open Internet...

California Governor Signs Disastrously Stupid Age Appropriate Design Code

Link Here 16th September 2022

Gavin Newsom, who wants to be President some day, and thus couldn't risk misleading headlines that he didn't protect the children, has now signed AB 2273 into law.

At this point there's not much more I can say about why AB 2273 is so bad. I've explained why it's literally impossible to comply with (and why many sites will just ignore it). I've explained how it's pretty clearly unconstitutional. I've explained how the whole idea was pushed for and literally sponsored by a Hollywood director / British baroness who wants to destroy the internet. I've explained how it won't do much, if anything, to protect children, but will likely put them at much greater risk. I've explained how the company it will likely benefit most is the world's largest porn company -- not to mention COVID disinfo peddlers and privacy lawyers. I've explained how the companies supporting the law insist that we shouldn't worry because websites will just start scanning your face when you visit.

None of that matters, though. Because, in this nonsense political climate where moral panics and culture wars are all that matter in politics, politicians are going to back laws that claim to protect the children, no matter how much of a lie that is.


The bill doesn't go into effect until the middle of 2024 and I would assume that someone will go to court to challenge it, meaning that what this bill is going to accomplish in the short run is California wasting a ton of taxpayer dollars (just as Texas and Florida did) to try to pretend they have the power to tell companies how to design their products.

See full article from



Extract: California looks set to adopt the UK's ludicrous Age Appropriate Design Code...

Dear California Law Makers: How The Hell Can I Comply With Your New Age-Appropriate Design Code?

Link Here26th August 2022

The California legislature is very, very close to passing AB 2273, The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act. As far as I can tell, it has strong support in the legislature and very little opposition. And that's incredibly dangerous, because the bill is not just extremely problematic, but at the same time it's also impossible to comply with.

The bill is a for the children bill in that it has lots of language in there claiming that this is about protecting children from nefarious online services that create harm. But, as Goldman makes clear, the bill targets everyone, not just children, because it has ridiculously broad definitions.

Bill 2273 doesn't limit its impact to sites targeting those under 13. It targets any business with an online service likely to be accessed by children who are defined by a consumer or consumers who are under 18 years of age. I'm curious if that means someone who is not buying (i.e., consuming) anything doesn't count? Most likely it will mean consuming as in accessing / using the service. And that's ridiculous.

Because EVERY service is likely to have at least someone under the age of 18 visit it.

According to the law, I need to estimate the age of child users with a reasonable level of certainty. How? Am I really going to have to start age verifying every visitor to the site? It seems like I risk serious liability in not doing so. And then what? Now California has just created a fucking privacy nightmare for me. I don't want to find out how old all of you are and then track that data. We try to collect as little data about all of you as possible, but under the law that puts me at risk.

Yes, incredibly, a bill that claims to be about protecting data, effectively demands that I collect way more personal data than I ever want to collect.

See full article from



Shooting from the hip...

New York Governer wants to sort out gun crime by censoring social media

Link Here8th June 2022
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has reacted to a recent mass shooting in Buffalo by signing as many as ten new laws, including one that concerns social media.

Hochul said that New York will require social media companies to report hateful content:

In the state of New York, we're now requiring social media networks to monitor and report hateful conduct on their platforms, Hochul announced.

According to the governor, the state will set up a task force whose focus will be violent extremism and social media, and this body will also investigate the role of social media in promoting domestic terror.



Contrarian views...

Florida's new law banning the censorship of right leaning views on social media is declare unconstitutional

Link Here25th May 2022
The US state of Florida responded to social media's silencing of Donald Trump by enacting a new law to ban social media from censoring users for political reasons. The law was challenged in the courts and it has now been judged to be mostly unconstitutional.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida's social media regulation law is unconstitutional.

The Appeals Court ruled against most of the provisions in Florida's social media regulation law. However, it said some of the provisions, including one that requires platforms to allow banned individuals to access their data for at least 60 days, were constitutional.

The ruling said that the law violated social media companies' First Amendment rights:

We conclude that social media platforms' content-moderation activities -- permitting, removing, prioritizing, and deprioritizing users and posts -- constitute 'speech' within the meaning of the First Amendment.

Most notably, the court rejected the argument that social media companies should be defined as common carriers, saying:

Neither law nor logic recognizes government authority to strip an entity of its First Amendment rights merely by labeling it a common carrier.

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a similar law in Texas to be enforced. The Texas law prohibits social media companies from censoring content or banning users based on political viewpoints. Tech companies have appealed the ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and have submitted the ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to support their case.



Updated: Unbanning the right...

Bill preventing political censorship by social media companies passes in the Texas House of Representatives

Link Here11th September 2021
The Texas House has passed House Bill 20, which addresses social media censorship, by a vote of 77 to 49. The bill now awaits approval by the state's senate.

The proposed law would make it illegal for social media platforms with more than 50 million users to censor the content of Texans based on viewpoint or geographical location.

The bill defines censorship as any action taken to edit, alter, block, ban, delete, remove, deplatform, demonetize, de-boost, regulate, restrict, inhibit, inhibit the publication or reproduction of, or deny equal access or visibility to expression, to suspend a right to post, remove, or post an addendum to any content or material posted by a user, or to otherwise discriminate against expression.

Update: Signed into law

11th September 2021. See article from

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill that aims to stop social media companies from banning users or nixing posts based solely on political opinions.

The new law requires social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users to disclose their content moderation policies and institute an appeals process. It would also require such social media companies to remove illegal content within 48 hours.

Under the state legislation, users may sue the platforms to get their accounts reinstated, and the Texas attorney general would be able to file suits on behalf of users.

Abbott said in a statement:

We will always defend the freedom of speech in Texas, which is why I am proud to sign House Bill 20 into law to protect first amendment rights in the Lone Star State. Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely 204 but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.



Biased views...

Florida judge temporarily blocks law preventing social media companies from cancelling right leaning views

Link Here2nd July 2021
Florida's social media censoring bill has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge. The judge ruled that the law was an overreach, saying it compels providers to host speech that violates their standards.

The law would have let the state fine social media platforms, if they censor or ban politicians or political candidates, and gives regular users the ability to sue a platform if they are removed without explanation.

The law would have gone into effect July 1.

Supporters of the law, including Representative John Snyder, said it was an effort to keep big tech companies from picking and choosing who gets a voice on their platforms. If the law is scrapped, Snyder said he would support trying again to get a similar law on the books in future sessions.


21st September

Dangerously Extendable Powers...

US law allows authorities wide powers to close down websites in the name of file sharing

A group of senators want to hand the U.S. Department of Justice the power to shut down Web sites dedicated to the illegal sharing online of film, music, software, and other intellectual property.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act will give the Department of Justice an expedited process for cracking down on these rogue Web sites regardless of whether the Web site's owner is located inside or outside of the United States, according to a statement from Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and committee member Senator Orin Hatch.

Under the proposed legislation, the Justice Department would file a civil action against accused pirate domain names. If the domain name resides in the U.S., the attorney general could then request that the court issue an order finding that the domain name in question is dedicated to infringing activities. The Justice Department would have the authority to serve the accused site's U.S.-based registrar with an order to shut down the site.

According to a staffer from Leahy's office, if the site resides outside the United States, the bill would authorize the attorney general to serve the court order on other specified third parties, such as Internet service providers, payment processors, and online ad network providers.

The way it sounds, the Justice Department would try to block these sites from being accessed by people in the United States or cut them off from credit card transactions or receiving ad revenue from U.S. companies.

Censor Watch logo





Censorship News Latest

Daily BBFC Ratings

Site Information