SMART Act Consequences

My super-quick skim of the definitions in the “SMART” Act suggests that Discourse forums might fall under it, as currently written, should it become law. That would mean the end of infinite scrolling.

No reason to think this would become law at this point. I’m just throwing a flag up.

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Thanks for the heads up! Sounds like this is incredibly unlikely to go anywhere, but stranger things have happened.


From my reading, since we don’t infinite load one topic to another, setting the home page to categories and disabling badges is enough to be compliant with the proposals, so Discourse is in quite a good place since this is all supported out of the box.


How so (regarding infinite scroll)? Again, I haven’t done more than a skim of the top part, but Section 2 seems to define Discourse forum owners as Social Media Companies operating a Social Media Platform and Section 3 prohibits such entities from offering infinite scrolling or auto refilling, defining those as:

The use of a process that automatically loads and displays additional content, other than music or video content that the user has prompted to play, when a user approaches or reaches the end of loaded content without requiring the user to specifically request (such as by pushing a button or clicking an icon, but not by simply continuing to scroll) that additional content be loaded and displayed.

…and you’re right that there are a bunch of other requirements that would take effect too, including the badge issue, and time limit issues, etc.

Again, no reason yet to think any of this will happen at this point.

At this point in time there’s nothing to do here. Bills are proposed all the time, and the vast majority of them never become law. To have our legal team review every bill that might impact us would be impossible, and for most bills an unwise use of time.

If this, or a similar bill becomes law, we’ll certainly review its impact on our software and hosting and take appropriate steps, just as we did for GDPR previously.