A publisher is a company that controls what information is produced using its publication. A platform is a vehicle, generally on the Internet, which can be used by the general public and on which information is not filtered or controlled. Online platforms as they currently exist, are granted this protection as a "platform" instead of as "publisher" through CDA 230.
YouTube is infamous for being a publisher masquerading as a platform. It claims to only censor bigotry, nudity/sexuality, violent content, etc., but it also censors conservatives and others who do not conform to political correctness.
The debate over the differences between a publisher and a platform has reached the forefront of political conversation amid Prager University's lawsuit against YouTube, and the "Adpocalypse" instigated on YouTube by now-former Vox Media "journalist" wannabe and beta male Carlos Maza as part of his vendetta against comedian Steven Crowder.
Despite the masses of evidence proving the existence of Big Tech censorship of conservatives, "conservative" Hunter Avallone disbelieves this fact. In contrast, even socialist Democrat Elizabeth Warren has pledged to "break up Big Tech" (though there are doubts as to her sincerity and her methods).
The discussion regarding the differences between a publisher and a platform again reached the forefront of political conversation when Twitter, as many leftists and Democrats had been advocating for a long time and in truly Orwellian fashion, finally began to censor President Donald Trump's tweets, using snide "fact-checking," citing CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post, establishment leftist echo chambers. In response to this, President Trump drafted an Executive Order forcing Big Tech companies like Twitter and Facebook to decide whether they are platforms or publishers. The text of the Executive Order can be found here. It states: "When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree,... [t]hey cease functioning as passive bulletin boards [platforms], and ought to be viewed and treated as content creators [publishers]." Not surprisingly, Twitter, Facebook, other liberal social media companies and their supporters have reacted in extremely negative fashion over the Executive Order, with Twitter continuing to openly tamper with Trump's tweets in defiance of the Executive Order by actually hiding visibility of the content of one tweet while hypocritically continuing to allow openly violent leftist tweets to remain intact, while Facebook made unfounded claims that the Executive Order would "restrict speech online", despite the order having the opposite intent. PragerU was censored on Facebook around the time that Trump issued the Executive Order. A PragerU post was labelled "misinformation," exactly like what Twitter did to Trump. Michael Knowles of The Daily Wire, who has been banned by Fox News and was censored by Twitter around the 2016 election, praised Trump's actions against Twitter.
- No Law Can Ban White Supremacy From the Internet, "Section 230 also protects platforms from being considered “publishers” should any try to moderate or remove content published by users."
- Twitter censors Trump while countless violent tweets remain active at WorldNetDaily
- Twitter Censors Trump Minneapolis Tweet, Accuses Him of "Glorifying Violence" at Breitbart News Network
- Facebook Slams Trump’s Executive Order, Claims It Will ‘Restrict More Speech’ Online at Breitbart News Network