Removing Section 230 would stifle engagement and interaction in the online realm.
Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act is currently being called into question by lawmakers, and this raises red flags for both producers and consumers within the online realm.
Section 230 states “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
If the granting of this protection were to be removed, any online sharing site (ranging from food blogs to Facebook pages to search engines to simulation games) could be held accountable for the online activity of users and affiliates.
For example, the current questionable image from Jaimie Lee Curtis’ account would hold Instagram as liable for the contested offensive or artistic picture featured in the post.
And while Big Tech may be able to bulk up capacity to counter claims for such cases, social media startups and casual content creators better beware.
It is not a matter of whether online activity should be moderated, but rather who does the moderating. If Section 230 protections were to be removed, this would discourage the creation of new social networking sites and create a mandate for an online surveillance state.
So, since some political officials believe online service providers should be held liable for suggestions, search results, and social feeds, and given that hearings on the Hill have exposed an ineptitude for most things tech related, here is an illustration of how Section 230 plays out in an offline scenario.
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