Recap & Response to a Thread on Speech

Sometimes a Twitter thread is easier to read as a blog post.

The below was originally posted on Twitter.

1) Good thread by @yonatanzunger with a bunch of useful truths. Recap & comments from me below.

2) Speech can be used as a weapon against other speech:
See also @superwuster arguing that the 1st Am is obsolete in an era of attention scarcity.

Fight between Rioters and Militia, from Pen and Pencil Sketches of the Great RiotsImage in the Public Domain.

3) People bear diff costs of bad speech & harassment, disadvantaged often most affected:

4) Understanding & combating speech that reduces engagement can further a speech maximizing policy goal:

5) Having + stating an “editorial voice,” gestures, public perception & examples also can be important:

The Frame, from TypographiaImage in the Public Domain.

6) Also, he gives great pointers to smart folks in the online community field:
And of course there are many more, incl: Heather Champ, @juniperdowns, Victoria Grand, Monika Bickert, Shantal Rands, Micah Schaffer, @delbius, @nicolewong, @zeynep, @zephoria, @StephenBalkam, @unburntwitch, @noUpside, @EthanZ,  @jessamyn, @sarahjeong + many many more incl great non-US folk. And including the folks & orgs on the various advisory councils: (and others)
As @yonatanzunger says, this work is a team sport that advances with help from all around.

7) I have some Qs re his 47 USC §230 (CDA) points. I don't know a case of something like his “editorial voice” breaking immunity or otherwise causing a “huge legal risk.” Indeed that was the point of §230 originally. So, asking experts: @ericgoldman & @daphnehk what do you think?

8) Also, I don’t think “maximizing speech” is quite the right goal or that every service should have the same goal. I want something different when I go to Facebook v Twitter v YouTube.
Also, I want more than one good service whose arch + policies (and, sure, “editorial voice”) support an extremely wide diversity of views being able to flourish, be expressed well & be easy to find & interact with including from outside social circles. But your mileage may vary.

9) Naturally, I also disagree that Twitter folks (including me) “never took [these issues] seriously,” provided “bullshit” explanations, were naive, and chased traffic over good policy. Was there & think I'd know.
But, taking that sort of beating is kinda part of the job. And, maybe I’m too biased from working & learning these issues at platforms incl many at Google, Twitter & in govt w/ @POTUS44.

10) Anyhow, I’m very glad @yonatanzunger chose to post this thread to Twitter & I hope the suggestions part is read widely.

Printing Press, from Typographia. Image in the Public Domain.

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