(Last Updated On: March 24, 2022)

CDA Section 230

Facebook & Social Media Largely Ignore Scammers, Why?

Reprinted from the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc. (SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.) main website www.AgainstScams.org

SCARS Advocacy

Why Does Facebook & Social Media Largely Ignore Scammers?

Originally published in 2015

This Simple Answer Is Because They Can – A Get Away With It!

In the early days of the web, there was a problem, and in typical fashion, a new law was created to solve it. However, 25 years later, the solution was worse than the problem. The law almost forces all web platforms and publishers to ignore the abuses from criminals and they get away with it because it also gives them immunity from liability!

Under the Trump Administration, real progress was being made on revising the law, but that was forgotten under the Biden Admin., and in fact, Presidential Orders changing the focus were all rescinded when Biden took office. We do not expect any change until after the new 2022 Congress takes office.

You will note that we are quite critical of the Obama/Biden administrations simply because the opportunities to result the terrible wrongs that take place on the internet were lost.

United States Law Ruled The Internet

(or did until Obama gave the internet away in 2017)

One of these laws is 47 U.S.C. § 230, a Provision of the Communication Decency Act

All of us in the Internet industry in those days (which included our Managing Director who was a co-founder of TigerDirect.com – the largest internet retailer at that time) were looking for ways to allow our site visitors to comment and participate on our websites. We were all scared of what people were posting on our websites, chat services, and incipient social network services (such as ICQ and America Online). A solution was needed, but like with all solutions there are unforeseen consequences.

The provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 were designed to allow the Internet to grow and prosper.

Tucked inside the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet: Section 230.

This comes somewhat as a surprise since the original purpose of the legislation was to restrict free speech on the Internet. The Internet community as a whole objected strongly to the Communications Decency Act, and with EFF’s (Electronic Freedom Foundation) help, the anti-free speech provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court. But thankfully, CDA 230 remains and in the years since has far outshone the rest of the law. But sometimes there are unforeseen consequences.

Section 230 says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” (47 U.S.C. § 230). In other words, online intermediaries that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do. The protected intermediaries include not only regular Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but also a range of “interactive computer service providers,” including basically any online service that publishes third-party content. Though there are important exceptions for certain criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues., intellectual property-based claims, identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. & impersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors., and defamation, the CDA 230 creates a broad protection that has allowed innovation and free speech online to flourish.

This legal and policy framework has allowed for YouTube and Vimeo users to upload their own videos, Amazon and Yelp to offer countless user reviews, craigslist to host classified ads, and Facebook and Twitter to offer social networking to more than a billion Internet users.

Given the sheer size of user-generated websites (for example, Facebook alone has more than 1 billion users, and YouTube users upload more than 100 hours of video every minute), it would be infeasible for online intermediaries to prevent objectionable content from cropping up on their site.

Rather than face potential liability for their users’ actions, most would likely not host any user content at all or would need to protect themselves by being actively engaged in censoring what we say, what we see, and what we do online. In short, CDA 230 is perhaps the most influential law to protect the kind of innovation that has allowed the Internet to thrive since 1996.

However, it has a dark side too! (Enter the scammers, the haters, the defamers, fake newsFake news Fake news is false or misleading information presented as news. It often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity, or making money through advertising revenue. However, the term does not have a fixed definition and has been applied more broadly to include any type of false information, including unintentional and unconscious mechanisms, and also by high-profile individuals to apply to any news unfavourable to his/her personal perspectives., and the terrorists!) Because these people use this loophole to exploit what and who they want.

The good news is that there are laws against that behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. too.

  • Haters and defamers can be sued and stripped of their money and assets.
  • Terrorists and criminals can be discovered and in many cases arrested in the more developed countries.
    But scammers have flourished even though arrested continue to rise year after year.

Why? Because the flip side of the law is that websites and social media companies act like the three monkeys: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. So if they don’t look, they are not liable.

They have had their lawyers establish Community Standards, Terms, Conditions, and Policies that protect them at all costs, and sometimes even the consumer. However, it means that anything wrong has to be reported. Just one problem in this “live happily ever after” world of legal fiction – the ability of consumers to report and be heard by these websites and social media networks.

Facebook especially is massively deficient in the training of their Standards Checking Personnel to the point that they don’t recognize scammers when they see them, and Facebook doesn’t even use basic technology to check the IP addresses of profile creators and editors to match where they say they live. It is for these reasons that the Society has created the SCARS Plan to help Facebook and others understand their weakness and what could even be called culpable negligence, and simple remedies to resolve a significant number of these problems rapidly.

Now that you know why Social Media and websites behave this way, what will you do to help change their minds? We would love to hear your opinions!

Infographic: Why CDA 230 Is So Important

InfographicInfographic Infographics (a shortened word of "information" and "graphics") are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve your understanding of a topic by utilizing graphics. Infographics have evolved in recent years to be more useful for mass communications and thus are designed with fewer assumptions about the readers' knowledge base than other types of visualizations.: Why CDA 230 Is So Important

Where Do We Go Front Here?

Basically, the CDA needs an overhaul. SCARS has developed a change that addresses the real needs while retaining the value of the CDA. You can see it here!

However, until there is a willing Congress and a concerned public we will see no change!

Remember, that you have a dog in this fight! So act like it matters, because it does!

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This program is designed to help scam victims struggling to recover on their own and for those who want to understand the overall process. You can be using other resources, such as traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, qualified support groupsSupport Groups In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers., or completely independent – on your own!

The SCARS Steps program is a complete program and is provided for the purpose of helping scam victims to overcome this experience. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues and challenges that a victim may have and help guide them through their recovery. But each person is different and it is important to understand your own reasons for being vulnerable to being scammed.

After the trauma of being scammed, you need to take steps to recover and move on. This may be an alternative to counseling in the short term, but we still encourage you to seek out professional help & support. Throughout this SCARS Steps Program, we speak about issues, challenges, defects, or problems that a victim may have in a generalized way.

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This SCARS Publishing book represents a complete guide to help the families and friends understand how these scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. work and how to help the victim.

The SCARS Slate Book should be purchased by family and friends to better understand what happened to the victim and the traumatic impact on them. But it can also be shared by the victim so that they do not have to explain to family and friends about the scam. This publication is to help others to help Scam Victims to make it through this traumatic experience and recover.

Each person is different and it is important to understand how relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? work and why people are vulnerable; to being scammed, how they were lured in, then groomed and manipulated. This understanding is essential in helping them through the process of ending the scam and then on to recovery. The SCARS Slate Book will provide the information necessary to help support a victim through this process.

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Before or after reporting to the police the RED BOOK gives you a dedicated tool to record all the essential facts of this crime. The Victim, the Scammers, the Money, and your Police interactions. Everything that really matters can be easily recorded for your immediate use and for the future!

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Always Report All Scams – Anywhere In The World To:

U.S. FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/?orgcode=SCARS and SCARS at www.Anyscams.com