What is Section 230, the rule that made the modern internet?

News Summary

  • And a lot of those conversations are enabled by Section 230, which says that whoever’s allowing us to talk to each other isn’t liable for our conversations,” said Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University specializing in internet law.
  • And Section 230 was born.“Today it protects both from liability for user posts as well as liability for any claims for moderating content,” Kosseff said.WHAT HAPPENS IF SECTION 230 GOES AWAY?“The primary thing we do on the internet is we talk to each other.
  • The judge in their case ruled that “they exercised editorial control — so you’re more like a newspaper than a newsstand,” Kosseff said.That didn’t sit well with politicians, who worried that outcome would discourage newly forming internet companies from moderating at all.
  • A case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court this week, Gonzalez v. Google, challenges this law — namely whether tech companies are liable for the material posted on their platforms.
  • Section 230 also allows social platforms to moderate their services by removing posts that, for instance, are obscene or violate the services’ own standards, so long as they are acting in “good faith.”WHERE DID SECTION 230 COME FROM?
  • Platforms might get more cautious, as Craigslist did following the 2018 passage of a sex-trafficking law that carved out an exception to Section 230 for material that “promotes or facilitates prostitution.” Craigslist quickly removed its “personals” section, which wasn’t intended to facilitate sex work, altogether.
By BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology WriterTwentysix words tucked into a 1996 law overhauling telecommunications have allowed companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to grow into the giants they [+5494 chars]