Ducken Cover: Section 230
Section 230 tries to join multiple distinct things together and claim that any distinctions between them don't exist. It tries (and fails) to create reality by legislation
tl;dr - The public square is critical to the evolution of our species. There are three separate kinds of internet businesses that together constitute the public square.
- Curation/Publication businesses. Businesses that create/validate selected, pre-created material for their walled-garden
- Content/Follower businesses. Businesses that allow/enable people or machines to create unique content for others to consume
- Connection/Facilitation businesses. Business that join together parties in the first two categories
- Your business can exist in only one category
- Each category is required to only use open standardized data formats such that all others in all categories can consume it
- Players in one category can't use their dominance to influence players in another category. (eg, Net Neutrality)
- The only thing you can "own" is the code and data you specifically create to enable you to compete in that category
- There may be additional rules for each category, depending on local jurisdictions. (Ideally there would be none)
Thesis: Section 230 tries to join all of these together and claim that any distinctions between them shouldn't happen. These distinctions are happening already with or without 230, which is, at best, a U.S.-centric response to a world-wide phenomenon. In practice, 230, by denying reality, is preventing both open public analysis and potential solutions to come forward.