by Tom Parker | Reclaim the Net

Section 230 of the Communications Act (CDA), an online liability shield that prevents online apps, websites, and services from being held civilly liable for content posted by their users if they act in “good faith” to moderate content, provided the foundation for most of today’s popular platforms to grow without being sued out of existence. But as these platforms have grown, Section 230 has become a political football that lawmakers have used in an attempt to influence how platforms editorialize and moderate content, with pro-censorship factions threatening reforms that force platforms to censor more aggressively and pro-free speech factions pushing reforms that reduce the power of Big Tech to censor lawful speech.

And during a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing yesterday, lawmakers discussed a radical new Section 230 proposal that would sunset the law and create a new solution that “ensures safety and accountability for past and future harm.”

We obtained a copy of the draft bill to sunset Section 230 for you here.

In a memo for the hearing, lawmakers acknowledged that their true intention is “not to have Section 230 actually sunset” but to “encourage” technology companies to work with Congress on Section 230 reform and noted that they intend to focus on the role Section 230 plays in shaping how Big Tech addresses “harmful content, misinformation, and hate speech” — three broad, subjective categories of legal speech that are often used to justify censorship of disfavored opinions. Read Full Article >

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