Section 230 battle surges as McConnell calls for full repeal

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bill for repeal of Section 230, opportunistically tying the repeal to increasing stimulus payments to $2000. Section 230 exempts computer companies from liability for third-party content. (The Verge, December 29, 2020, by Makena Kelly)

Big tech companies like Facebook can handle liability without Section 230 protection. The less powerful companies like WordPress, eBay, Etsy, nextdoor, Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Wikimedia have most at stake. (techdirt, December 28, 2020, by Mike Masnick)

Jeff Bewkes and Jeffrey Sonnenfeld in Fortune, December 30, 2020, maintain that social platforms should not get a free pass on destructive content. Whereas other publishers are responsible for content and can censor content around “legality, truth, political ideology or taste,” similarly platform owners should be able to do the same and not fear defamation suits. “Repealing Section 230 is not a threat to the First Amendment,” write
Bewkes and Sonnenfeld. “As long as anyone is free to launch their own platform, they must also shoulder the obligation to keep it safe and respectful.”

Eric Goldman, Technology & Marketing Law Blog, December 28, 2020, posts some Section 230 cases or articles.

For related FAC coverage, click here, here, and here.

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