The media has been falsely accusing Donald Trump of making threatening communication for sharing a link on Truth Social despite recent comments from the Supreme Court indicating that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) protects social media users from liability for the content of links they share. The image above sparked widespread accusations that Trump was threatening violence against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg when in fact the image was created by someone else and all Trump did was share the link.
In February, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments in Gonzalez v. Google in which the plaintiff seeks to hold YouTube's parent company liable for terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIS. The Plaintiff argued that YouTube's parent company Google aided and abetted ISIS by means of algorithms which suggest videos to users based on a variety of criteria intended to match users with videos they might like. The court has not issued a ruling but strongly implied that they would not support the Plaintiff's case.
In one example which illustrated problems with the Plaintiff's case, Justice Amy Coney Barrett questioned the Plaintiff about a hypothetical scenario in which "Lets say I retweet an ISIS video" and asked "On your theory, am I aiding and abetting? And does the statute protect me, or does my putting the thumbs-up on it create new content?" to which the Plaintiff's counsel responded that in his opinion Section 230 should not protect you but none of the justices seemed to support his position. They seemed instead hesitant to open the floodgates for lawsuits every time a social media user shares content created by someone else which turns out to be illegal in some way (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/supreme-court-google-twitter-section-230-lawsuit-liability_n_63f67401e4b0c87f32f4fcdf). We found another example in New Hampshire which is being uploaded as a PDF with this article (see link above map). We believe this ISIS hypothetical to be analogous with Trump's tweet but unlike the hypothetical Trump didn't offer any original commentary or so much as a thumbs up. He or someone doing social media work for him posted a URL. The rest was all created automatically by the TruthSocial website.
When someone shares a link on social media, the website often copies content from the source automatically. They use bots to check the source code of the page for what are known as open graph tags which contain meta data intended to be used by other sites when creating snippets. Those tags are then used by other sites like Twitter or TruthSocial to create snippets with links shared on their sites. Whoever posted the Trump tweet didn't even copy the image themselves. They just posted a link and the rest was created automatically. Technically that statement is nothing more than a reference to a URL with no commentary capable of adding any context. Not nearly enough to justify alleging a criminal threat. Imagine what would happen every time someone shares a link to a page if they were suddenly liable for the content of that page and/or how others interpret the act of sharing absent proof of specific intent? The floodgates would open and suddenly everyone whose ever shared a link to illegal content would be at risk just as if they'd published it themselves.
We have dealt with the frustration of people reading non-existent statements into our work for years. There was a time when this site was primarily known for publishing home addresses of government officials alongside denouncements of their deeds. We often were falsely accused of making physical threats just because of the alleged subjective responses from the audience. Some would read into our work a desire to incite violence despite never posting any language advocating for violence. One time we even got contacted by the feds in our home town over the home address of Trump's acting Secretary of Homeland Security being published on this site in response to federal officers assaulting protesters. The inquiry seemed completely focuses on soliciting our intent because absent some overt claim that we intended to cause Chad Wolf physical harm they couldn't legally read such things into our scathing rebuke of his job performance (https://copblaster.com/blast/25843/chad-f-wolf-acting-secretary-of-homeland-security-home-address). If liberals are allowed to build a case against Trump based on the actions of his supporters and social media posts lacking in criminal language then we fear sites like ours could face similar cases every time we post information about law enforcement officials whose behavior and cooperation with we want to discourage even if we continue to omit limited forms of personal information.
We were fighting Trump a few years ago because he sought to hold us liable for content on our site if we remove anything. He claimed he wanted to protect free speech by stopping big tech from censoring users but went about it the wrong way. He wanted to strip Section 230 immunity from anyone who removes anything for everything not removed. A better way to go about that would simply be to declare social media platforms with large market shares public goods like utility companies and impose stiff fines whenever content protected by the First Amendment is removed. Imagine what Twitter, Facebook, and Google search results would look like if those companies had to pay a $1,000 fine every time they removed or suppressed lawful content? They would look a lot more like they did a decade ago when the internet was a great place where you could easily find almost anything just by using Google, but today we're left with mostly just white washed results curated to avoid offending anyone. The internet is in decline just like America.
You can see one example of the liberal media lying about Trump in the video below. That same outlet once attacked the owner of Cop Blaster and blamed him for content posted by users on an unrelated website he happens to also own before asking, "do we have a government that protects us at all anymore?" Eventually the site criticized was censored by big tech due largely to a fake headline from The New York Times. For the longest time tech companies butted out of such disputes but are suddenly listening to people like them and wasting money paying staff to censor stuff even though they don't legally have to do anything. Despite that even they thought Section 230 should be left alone.