We don’t yet know precisely what Joe Biden’s priorities will be if he’s elected President this November, but he made one thing clear this weekend. He’s no fan of either Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg and he’s sick and tired of seeing the social media giant running advertisements saying nasty things about him. But what can he do about it? For starters, he can push to repeal section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That’s the law that protects media platforms from being held liable for content their users publish. Eric Boehm at Reason describes this as Joe Biden’s war on free speech.

After being asked by the Times about previous comments Biden has made regarding Facebook’s refusal to remove negative ads targeting his campaign, the Democratic front-runner attacked both the social media platform and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.

“I’ve never been a fan of Facebook,” Biden says. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan, I think he’s a real problem.” …

In this week’s interview with the Times, Biden has gone a step further. Now he’s calling for revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996—a snippet of federal law that’s generally regarded as the internet’s First Amendment, since it protects online platforms from being legally liable for content produced and posted by third parties.

While I disagree with Biden’s take on this, it’s for different reasons than the ones Eric Boehm brings up. While anything that anyone publishes can certainly qualify as “speech” of a sort, I’m not sure that this specific question even falls under any First Amendment considerations.

We should break this down into two parts when it comes to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the rest. Advertising is one concern and the random content created by the platform’s users is the other. Presumably, there is some group of people at Facebook responsible for accepting paid advertisements from sponsors and charging them money. If so, then they should be able to review each of the advertisements as they come in.

Assuming the advertisements don’t break the law (by threatening or promoting violence or violating corporate decency standards, etc.) they should be able to run the ads and take the money. It’s not Facebook’s job to fact check everything that comes across their desk. That’s the media’s job and they should hold the advertisement’s creator, not Facebook, to account. If the advertisement crosses the line into liable or slander, let the victim take the advertiser to court, not the platform that ran the ad.

Things are even more complicated when it comes to the platform’s users. As I’ve said in the past, these social media platforms provide a service in the form of offering a place for people to create and push out content. Both Facebook and Twitter have literally billions of active user accounts. They can’t possibly monitor everything that gets published and algorithms can only do so much. (Frankly, those algorithms probably cause more problems than they solve.)

The easiest way to think of this is to look at Facebook like a corkboard in a college dormitory where people are allowed to pin up messages. If you notice someone posting something really offensive, who are you going to go after? The person who wrote the offensive note or the manufacturer of the corkboard? It’s completely fair to call for people to be held accountable for their speech if it crosses the lines, but that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the offending party.

That’s why section 230 shouldn’t be repealed. The moment you do that, there won’t be any more social media platforms because they will be sued out of existence. (Not that having them disappear would be an entirely negative thing for society in my opinion, but you get the point.) Everyone gets to play in the same sandbox if they wish. Nobody is forcing you to go on Facebook or Twitter. If you do, and you see advertisements that bother you, don’t click on them. If you see posts or tweets that offend you, block the person. It’s really not that complicated.