So, what is The EARN IT Act?
The EARN IT Act’s stated purpose is “to prevent, reduce, and respond to the online sexual exploitation of children.” However, it doesn’t directly target child sexual abuse material or child sex trafficking ads, which are already not protected by The First Ammendment. Child pornography and content that represents a criminal transaction, such as an advertisement reflecting the sex trafficking of a minor, is already not protected by the First Amendment. The EARN IT Act reaches far beyond this unlawful content, to regulate how online service providers operate their platforms and manage user-generated content. The EARN IT Act would hold platforms accountable for what their users say.
This would DIRECTLY impact TheWeedTube, seeing as we are a social media platform built on the concept of free speech.
Imagine if one person made a video talking about some controversial topics or conspiracy theories - instead of that person being subjected to debate, the ENTIRE platform would be held accountable. That means new regulations would control what you say online and allow the monitoring of your private conversations.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said, “The EARN IT Act is a vehicle to undermine end-to-end encryption. Attorney General William Barr has repeatedly blamed encryption for sexual crimes against children.”
What is Encryption?
Encryption is a process that encodes a message or file so that it can only be read by certain people. Basically, it’s what keeps private messages, private.
What is section 230?
Section 230 was first implemented in the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 and is one of the most valuable tools for protecting freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet. Section 230 states: "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, platforms that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible.
Revoking Section 230 and Implementing the EARN IT ACT would impact your right to free speech and what websites you use.
So, what can we do to stop it?
1) Sign the EARN IT ACT Petitions:
2) Find your senators:
3) After finding your representative you will be redirected to their website.
4) There you can go to their contact form.
5) Enter your name and address.
Then enter the following:
I am reaching out to urge you to oppose the EARN IT Act, Senate Bill 3398, which is currently in the Judiciary Committee. During these hectic times our constitutional right to free speech has been infringed upon behind our backs. It is immoral and unconstitutional to violate our first amendment rights. This bill would compromise the security of people around the world, especially sex workers, LGBTQ people, and young folks, while also compromising privacy and freedom of speech. Please oppose this bill. You have a duty to represent the people and I beg you to fulfill said duty, now more than ever.
6) Press send! It’s that easy. Feel free to spruce up our script. It’s essential that we use our voice during this time. We have people in power who are sworn to represent our wishes, and if they don’t uphold that duty, it is our job to hold them accountable.
This is our government.
For more information, check out our sources:
Text - S.3398 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Earn It Act Of 2020
Graham- Lindsey - https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3398/text
Section 230 Of the Communications Decency Act
Jason Kelley-David Greene-Daly Barnett-Ernesto Falcon - https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230
The Graham-blumenthal Bill Is an Attack on Online Speech and Security
The Earn It Act Violates the Constitution
Sophia Cope-Aaron Mackey-Andrew Crocker - https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/03/earn-it-act-violates-constitution
Us: Senate Should Reject Earn It Act