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Reading: Let’s go through Trump’s terrible internet censorship order, line by line – The Verge

From Let’s go through Trump’s terrible internet censorship order, line by line – The Verge

Over at The Verge, Adi Robertson does a close read of trump’s executive order. Even if it is rejected by the Supreme Court, the order is unnecessary and scary. Roberson’s analysis is a lesson in First Amendment law.

It’s hard to capture just how badly this order mangles free speech and the entire legislative process. But one of its worst flaws is a common one: making rules that assume every website is Facebook. We’ve said over and over that Section 230 is not “a gift to big tech companies.” It’s a gift to the internet. Trump’s order makes that clearer than ever — because unlike even a fairly similar proposal from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), its “online platform” definition explicitly targets all websites, not just the biggest by users or revenue.

I wasn’t kidding about the birdwatching forum.

If you take this order seriously, every website with a comment section — and possibly even cloud storage services or online creative tools — is going to be covered by a convoluted set of probably unconstitutional regulations designed to stop Donald Trump from getting fact-checked on Twitter.

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Reading: Trump’s Attack on Campus Free Speech

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How to manipulate free speech guarantees.

The Trump Administration needed to deal with the problem that the colleges with the worst speech codes are conservative religious colleges. The solution was to include a hypocritical rule in the Executive Order that says private colleges will be judged only by “compliance with stated institutional policies.” Since conservative colleges openly state that they suppress free speech, they will be immune from any action (not that any Trump official would ever dare to punish a conservative college).

By contrast, if a more liberal private college aspires to protect free speech, they can have their federal funds taken away based on a Republican bureaucrat’s regulatory interpretation of the campus’ values. This Executive Order will tend to reduce free speech at private colleges, because colleges will have an incentive to remove any promises to protect free speech in order to avoid being vulnerable to federal funding cutbacks. And if private colleges have policies that provide stronger protections for free speech than the First Amendment (as many do), they can lose federal funding even if they meet First Amendment standards.

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What I’m reading 11 Mar 2018 – 21 Apr 2018

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What I’m reading 8 Feb 2018 – 9 Mar 2018