Great read by Drew DeVault on a very relevant topic these days.


Interesting read, freedom of association is a double-edged sword though. Yes it means private social media platforms are free to exclude and censor, but it also means bakers are free to refuse baking cakes for gay weddings and all that.

There’s also the issue of Section 230 protection. Once you start curating content, there is an argument to be made that you can no longer claim to be a “common carrier”, and so you will be liable for the content that is published on your platform.

Then there are utilities such as payment providers. Should they also have freedom of association? PayPal is notorious for refusing service to individuals and organizations based on political or religious beliefs. In an increasingly cashless society, is this OK? And what about other online utilities such as domain registrars, DNS, ICANN etc?

And lastly - where does freedom of association end? The civil rights act put an end to businesses discriminating by race, so there are some limits.

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