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  • Sevda Mirali

Washington Examiner Op-ed: Repealing Section 230 won’t stop anti-conservative bias in Big Tech

Op-ed in the Washington Examiner by Committee for Justice president Curt Levey:

The Supreme Court has chosen to tackle a question at the heart of the debate over Big Tech. When they decide Gonzales v. Google, the justices will have to address for the first time the extent of the legal immunity granted to internet platforms such as YouTube (owned by Google), Facebook, and Twitter under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act. Many conservatives are among those hoping the court will curtail this immunity. But they are likely to be disappointed by a post-230 world.

Enacted in 1996, Section 230 states that platforms are not legally liable for third-party content. It further instructs that a platform shall not be held liable for good-faith actions to remove or restrict access to material it deems “obscene, … excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.” Exceptions to this immunity include content that facilitates sex trafficking, infringes intellectual property, violates any federal criminal law, or violates privacy laws.

Many observers credit Section 230 with providing crucial protection that allowed the nascent World Wide Web to blossom into the colossus it is today. However, as criticism of Big Tech has grown, so has criticism of Section 230.

The Left wants to hold platforms liable for not censoring enough speech — speech offensive to minorities, for example — and the Right wants to hold them liable for censoring too much conservative speech. Hence the many calls for Section 230 to be repealed or limited by Congress, the courts, or even the Federal Communications Commission.

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