Twitter Is Not a Platform, It Is a Publisher

Ditto Facebook and many other sites. With Twitter’s new policy of putting disclaimers on Donald Trump’s tweets, after he engaged in some vile scandalmongering, it’s now clear and undeniable that Twitter is a publisher, not a mere platform. They are literally editing* his tweets.

I’ve always thought that Twitter and Facebook, once they started serving up tweets and posts using an algorithm had become publishers: once you are deciding what people will see for whatever reason–and an algorithm is just the computational form of that–you are no longer just a messenger board. That is, if Twitter and Facebook dropped the algorithm and returned to latest posts or tweets, it would be much harder to hold them legally** liable for their content. In essence, they would just be a very advanced server with a good (or ‘good’) user interface.

But now Twitter has completely blown any such argument out of the water–again, they are literally providing an editorial function (which, of course, they were doing by removing tweets, and, for Facebook, posts).

Time to treat them like publishers, with all that entails. Not great for the business model though…

*That said, it’s not enough. He should, at the very least, be suspended temporarily.

**Morally and ethically responsible however….

This entry was posted in News Media, TWEET!!!. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Twitter Is Not a Platform, It Is a Publisher

  1. kaleberg says:

    Back when search engines just searched for text and sorted things based on graph connections and when forum sites just presented user postings and used simple censoring filters to get rid of the four letter words, it was possible to deny that sites like Google, Facebook and Twitter were publishers. That lasted a bit into the new century, but then, perhaps by 2005, they were all publishers. They invoke the algorithm, but someone has to specify that algorithm, write it and deploy it.

  2. Michele Obama says:

    Just leave out biologist.
    Orange man bad we get it. You like your politicans polite telling you sweet lies.

    Interestingly for all your pearl clutching a question. Now you have seen the media, academia and tech platforms as unelected activists only allowing one viewpoint (something that is clearly a success with your opinions formed by the narrative they fees)

    Question is, do you think without Trump you would notice there deceit? Would a nice netfliz doc about the Obamas really show him in a bad light? Hilary? Do you seriously think it hasnt been happening for years? Do you not feel that there are things acceptable to say.
    I can think of some scientists that would make you ashamed of your title. Such as say James Watson, yet have been stripped of everything as the science does not suit the idealogy.
    Can you hand on heart imagine any paper of yours making it to daylight if it showed the idealogy of the day in a bad light?

    Of course not, the entire system rewards those like yourself that are trained to get little gold stars when they behave and nothing but scorn when they speak out.

    You use of ineffables and appeals to emotion in your argument is childish*

    *:maybe i am factually wrong on this but morally i am correct
    ** pretty good a subjective aspect of morally and ethically is so elastic
    ***yes, this is what you do, it says a lot.

  3. Thevirtuouspoet says:

    Comment deleted

    Comment was removed due to severe butt hurt by owner of blog

    Note all thoughts and opinons of this blog are purely formed from late night comedy shows, CNN editorial staff and speculative attenpts to impress people by showing how ethical and virtuous they are. As such they are not responsible for their views or any offence as they have none.

  4. Pingback: TGIF – Candid Cerebrations

Comments are closed.