Sen. Manchin Pushes for Anti-Section 230 Snitching Mandate Targeting 'Suspicious' Content

Sen. Manchin Pushes for Anti-Section 230 Snitching Mandate Targeting 'Suspicious' Content

WASHINGTON — West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has renewed his efforts to erode Section 230 liability protections by inserting his extremely controversial “See Something, Say Something” bill into the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act.

Manchin’s proposal “would force companies to file ‘Suspicious Transmission Activity Reports’ (STAR) for basically anything ‘suspicious’ they see online,” TechDirt’s Mike Masnick reported today.

Back in 2020, Masnick published a detailed analysis of Manchin’s “dangerous, stupid” mandatory snitching bill, which Masnick labels “a direct attack on Section 230.” Manchin is now attempting to graft the provisions of that bill onto the NDAA as an unrelated “rider.” The NDAA is the annual legislative authorization of resources for the entire U.S. military.

“You know how under the law right now, if a website finds child sexual abuse material, it needs to report it to NCMEC?” Masnick writes. “Well, this law basically expands that to, well — everything. See someone mention drugs? File a report! See someone slightly mean to someone else? File a STAR. See someone joke about a bomb? STAR. On and on and on.”

Should such provisions become law, the potential for abuse and lawfare is self-evident. Organized, well-funded groups such as NCOSE and Exodus Cry could easily leverage the proposed system in order to further their mission of eradicating online pornography.

Masnick also points out that since Manchin’s proposal targets “known suspicious transmissions,” it could easily backfire and “actually encourage websites to take a less proactive approach to reviewing content, because they will claim that if they don’t look, they couldn’t have known.”

At the same time, Masnick notes, “See Something, Say Something” uses the “should have reasonably known” standard, so platforms could be forced to litigate over whether they “should have magically known about this bad thing found online.” Sites such as Twitter and Reddit, which tolerate adult content, and user-upload sites like OnlyFans and Pornhub, could expect to be challenged on such grounds by the same deep-pocketed anti-porn crusaders that have long had them in their sights.

Though nominally a Democrat, Manchin has become notorious for pushing back against his party and President Biden's agenda, and using his tie-breaking vote in the Senate to advance positions more aligned with the Republican party and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Related:  

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Kansas Senator Dismisses Free Speech Concerns About Her Age Verification Bill

The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, despite Democratic Senators expressing concerns about implications for free speech.

Mile High Media Debuts Streaming Service 'AdultMobile'

Mile High Media has launched its new streaming service, AdultMobile.com, featuring the studio's entire library of content.

2024 XBIZ Creator Awards Categories Announced, Pre-Noms Now Open

XBIZ is pleased to announce the award categories and opening of the pre-nomination period for the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards.

South Dakota Republicans Admit Age Verification is Part of National Campaign Against Online 'Filth'

The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, which the bill’s backers described as part of a national campaign to fight online “filth.”

BranditScan, Pineapple Support Partner for Mental Health Awareness Week

BranditScan is teaming up with Pineapple Support for Mental Health Awareness Week, today through Sunday.

Fansly Signs On as Presenting Sponsor of 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards

Premium creator platform Fansly has signed on as the exclusive Presenting Sponsor of the 2024 XBIZ Creator Awards, the adult creator community’s biggest night.

Actor Rick Schroder Releases Bizarre Trailer for Anti-Porn Propaganda Series 'Erotic Erosion'

Former child actor and current anti-porn activist Rick Schroder is moving forward with “Erotic Erosion,” a new propaganda series targeting the adult industry.

Florida Republicans Combine Age Verification, Social Media Ban Bills

Republican state legislators in Florida have incorporated a copycat age verification bill, introduced by a pastor and based on other laws championed by religious conservatives across the country, into a larger bill that aims to prevent anyone under 16 from using certain social media platforms.

UK Media Regulator Encourages Companies, Creators to Provide Feedback on New Rules for Adult Content

U.K media regulator Ofcom is encouraging all members of the adult industry, including companies, creators and other stakeholders, to provide feedback to help it establish new regulations under the recent Online Safety Act — regulations that will impact the accessibility of online adult content.

Critics Lambast Revised Version of Controversial KOSA Bill

The main U.S. Senate sponsors of the controversial Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) have released a new version of the bill, which they claim addresses privacy and censorship issues flagged by opponents, but critics insist the revised version still presents insurmountable problems.

Show More