An interesting development for platform immunity in the US:
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the US law that protects websites from lawsuits based on content posted by third parties. It is what shields platforms like Facebook from being treated as publishers. When researching Section 230 for my paper, I have noticed there has been a lot of buzz about potentially legislating to restrict the immunity provided by the Act. However, I came across an interesting development from the US Supreme Court which indicates that legislation may not be the only route to changing the provision. In a March 7th ruling, Justice Thomas indicated that if Congress doesn’t move to clarify the scope of Section 230, the Supreme Court “should do so in an appropriate case”. It will be interesting to see if his statement builds pressure to push through legislation that would limit Section 230’s protection. You can read the decision here: https://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/030722zor_1a7d.pdf#page=7
– Adam Sanders
One response to “Section 230 Communications Decency Act Development”
Interesting developments! Feels weird to agree with Justice Thomas as his ideology is typically quite different than my own but I agree that these tech giants need to take some responsibility in monitoring what goes on their websites, and there should be some limits to the scope of their immunity. Where these limits lie is probably where Justice Thomas and I diverge again as I think social media companies have gotten away with far too much and they need to take steps to assume more responsibility regarding the information that is disseminated through their websites – perhaps some liability through decreasing the scope of the immunity provided by s.230 is the path forward.