Guest Suggestion for this Sunday's TWiT

@Leo, I know its short notice, but any chance of getting Denise Howell on this weekend to talk about this week’s happenings, from a tech perspective? My concern is that the current environment might be the push congress needs to repeal that law (I forget the name/number, but it has been discussed frequently) that protects social media companies, etc from postings made by users.


You mean section 230 of the Communications Act?
I am not sure if having a discussion about what may or may not happen would be of much value. We have no idea if they would just remove it or replace it with something else, and how that would be worded.
As Leo has said, it would mean this forum and others like it would be shut down or be sued out of existence. Facebook and Twitter might just change all posts to being private and you have to agree to viewing posts to provide them legal protection, if such a system would work. That might be a good discussion, but it is totally speculative.

It all really depends on how they change the law and I think any discussion would not be that interesting until there are solid details.

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Yes, I’m aware of the consequences, however it appears that there is now a push for more control over social media due to the last postings by Mr Trump. I’m afraid that repealing section 230 might come back up in the arguments and pass very quickly.

What is the point of discussing something that “might” happen? The world might get hit by an asteroid and fully destroyed tomorrow. There’s nothing a tech show discussing the theoretical consequences is going to do about it. If you’re worried, call your congress critter and senators… that will have far more effect than pontificating about doing nothing.

I just thought it would be interesting discussion.

In this instance - Denise Howell would be perfect to discuss the legal ramifications of removing Section 230 and what kinds of impact we would likely see. I disagree that theoretical consequences aren’t worth discussing - they’re necessary so the tech audience has a framework of possibilities as to what could happen.

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Okay, well you waste your time on theoretical problems while the rest of us worry about the real problem of not catching covid while trying to keep food on the table. Still, I’d advise you all to do something real, like contacting your politicians… as that will possibly actually have real consequences instead of theoretical ones.

After having followed some shows (TWIG and WW) this week, I’d simply want to ask @Leo to discuss what happened this week, give and develop perspectives with the panel. I am really interested to hear your views - as diverse and deep as they may be. Ideally, new perspectives come up - try looking at the problem without using the numbers 2, 3, and 0. There must be more angels here.

Listening to Windows Weekly and This Week in Google with the situation unfolding but it not being discussed, felt like a solid editorial decision at the time, but it feels positively awkward to listen too (completed TWIG, half way through WW). The elephant in the room simply sucked the air out of any other topic. I doubt that on that day, many really cared much about the update cycle of Microsoft - even those so inclined. Even Leo got sidetracked to a degree that you could tell he could not care less (after the first break, and I am loving the candor!). If it feels that way, that’s a great indicator that your audience might feel the same way.

I see the point of the editorial decision - there is a show sold to advertisers which deals with Windows, not with current affairs - but I’d be discouraged to find that TWiT starts shying away from relevant developments in current affairs or find itself not equipped to improvise a live comment and integration. If a podcast network can do it, yours can.

Paul just said “This is big” about the way of how users log into Outlook. No, it wasn’t ,that day.

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Three things:

  • Not all the listeners are American, and I for one don’t want to hear any more news about American political boondoggling.
  • Wednesday had very little effect on technology. (One could argue there was a lack of paying attention to it, deliberately probably, by the generally conservative policing bodies that should have mitigated what happened, but that is not really a tech angle.)
  • I come to TWiT to escape that sh*t as much as is possible, so no, I don’t want more of it. I’m already dealing with PTSD over covid, I don’t need new nightmares brought on by discussing something on TWiT that is already virtually unavoidable anywhere else in media.

There’s room for both in the discussion. This isn’t a zero-sum game here.


I was just about to say: this is great news - both extremes and anything in the middle goes. A pessimist will say “you can only lose, setting up the show”. I agree with the optimistic take: you can only win. Whatever the show, it will matter. Looking forward.

Can relate to @PHolder ’s perspective, though.

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Given all the various actions taken by the tech industry (the banning of President Trump from Twitter, Google’s removal of the Parler app from it’s store, and Apple’s consideration of the same) - I can definitely see how a legal perspective (like that of Denise Howell’s ) would be incredibly valuable to the discussion.


With what’s happened with Facebook, Twitter, the Google Play store and the App Store, you can rest assured TWiT will be covering this. Buckle up!


I find it interesting how big a deal everyone is making of Google and possibly Apple banning the Parler app…when one can still access Parler in any browser!!:joy:

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I would wager money that a good portion of the userbase is completely unaware of this.


That may be changing:


Interesting to see how the talk of 230 seems to have obscured the view of how the tech platforms hosting the social media platforms grow sour and what they can do. Not just the social media platforms themselves. I wonder what AWS terms are with regard to how “classy” the hosted content must be, how the track and determine malicious (or at least non-carriable) quality.

Even the internet seems to be a network of social contacts. Good news, in my mind.

Interesting, living in Germany, I’d never heard of Parler, or at least it was never in the tech press I follow.

AWS has kicked Parler off their servers as of midnight.

This is going to be a very challenging TWiT. I want to walk the line between partisan politics and the role tech plays in our particular situation. At least we have great hosts who will help me:

Amy Webb
Dan Gillmor
Alex Kantrowitz