Following my piece over the weekend, Did America Just Lose Afghanistan Because of WhatsApp? – a lot of other people have been asking the same question. Motherboard linked to the piece, the Free Beacon published its own article agreeing with its conclusions and Facebook itself pivoted hard, announcing it would – a day late and a dogecoin short – begin aggressively banning Taliban content.
It's a little late for that, seeing as the allegations being made today are that WhatsApp etc. played a significant role in the Taliban's conquest of Afghanistan last week https://t.co/in3xKKWGk3
Section 230 is what immunizes platforms like Facebook and Twitter for legal liability for hosting user generated content including terrorist content. It is a good thing that they benefit from this protection because it means that they adopt policies which tend to promote the free speech of Americans (even though FB and Twitter do censor conservative viewpoints) and moreover it protects companies which host conservative viewpoints too, which could not exist without Section 230.
The best thing anyone can do is vote with their wallets. Congresspeople should lead a charge to stop providing content to, stop using and stop spending ad dollars with websites which host America’s enemies and start using websites which don’t host America’s enemies. The next best thing they could do is start looking at how other laws like antitrust law might be used to break up the conglomerates which are responsible for the delivery of communications services to the enemy – app stores, social conglomerates, and device makers. The next best thing after that would be to enact something like former OCC Commissioner Brian Brooks’ Fair Access Rule to banking services, which was spiked by the Biden Administration, to ensure that challenger services which cater to patriots – or anyone else, for that matter – can’t get banned from the financial system because of their politics.