Changes in Section 230 proposed to keep it in place

Writing in The Verge, September 9, 2020, Casey Newton says that President Donald Trump’s dislike of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act may lead to greater censorship if they make platform companies legally liable for user posts. Newton argues that a new report offers a better solution. A Rutgers law professor suggests that more could be required for companies in exchange for Section 230 protection. A United Kingdom proposal would “’require platform companies to ensure that their algorithms do not skew toward extreme and unreliable material to boost user engagement.’ Under a second, platforms would disclose data on what content is being promoted and to whom, on the process and policies of content moderation, and on advertising practices.”

Senate Republicans are proposing a new bill to end protections provided by Section 230 if a platform blocked content without a rule in place specifying that the content was not allowed. The platform must think the content is in violation of its policies to remove it or be held liable. The proposed bill is designed to protect political views from censorship, according to Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the bill’s sponsors. (The Verge, September 8, 2020, by Marena Kelly)

For related FAC coverage, click here and here.

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