OA390: Trump’s War on Twitter (A Deep Dive on Section 230)

Today’s episode breaks down the latest temper tantrum and accompanying executive order by our game show host president attacking social media platforms for having the temerity to engage in fact-checking. You’re going to be hearing a lot about “Section 230” — so we’re here to tell you exactly what that means, what Trump is trying to do, and why it matters.

We begin, however, with a pretty straightforward Andrew Was Right now that Tulsi Gabbard has voluntarily dismissed her defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton that we covered back in Episode 354 (“A Russian Asset Sues What?”).

Then it’s time for our deep dive into CompuServe, Prodigy, section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 230 — which ended internet porn forever — and what all of that has to do with Trump’s latest tantrum over being fact-checked on Twitter. You won’t want to miss it!

After that, it’s time for an update on the amicus brief we’re filing in the Flynn case. We tell you what Flynn’s best case is, and walk through how it does and does not inform Judge Sullivan’s discretion under Rule 48(a).

And then, of course, we end with an all-new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam involving a fire at one warehouse spreading to another. If you want to play along, just share out this episode on social media using the hashtag #T3BE and we might pick you as next week’s winner!

Patreon Bonuses

We’ve got an all-new Live Q&A scheduled for Sunday, May 31 at 7 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific, and Patrons can click here to suggest questions and vote on the ones they want answered. Also remember that Patrons can give their input on the OA Amicus Brief!


Andrew was just a guest on the latest episode of The Daily Beans. And if you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, event, or in front of your group, please drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Tulsi links: (a) click here for the news that Tulsi Gabbard has voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit; (b) here to read the original defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton; (c) the Time magazine story on how strong a case Tulsi Gabbard had; and (d) be sure to listen to our coverage of this from Episode 354 (“A Russian Asset Sues What?”).
  2. Trump links: (a) click here for the fact-check on Trump; (b) here is the text of 47 U.S.C. § 230; (c) for the draft of the Executive Order, check out Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, and Page 6.
  3. OA brief: Click here to read U.S. v Fokker Svcs. BV, 818 F.3d 733 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

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