NetChoice Applauds the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Online Platform Liability Case

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice applauded the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Hassell v. Yelp, Inc, No. 18-506. This denial retains a California State Supreme Court ruling that Section 230 protections prevent Yelp from being held legally liable for negative reviews posted on their site.

“This case shows the importance of Section 230. Without Section 230 Yelp would be held responsible for negative reviews posted on their site — a legal burden that could shut them down,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Americans increasingly rely on online services like Yelp in their daily lives, services which rely on Section 230 to function.”

Small Business Advocate Radio - Short-Term Rentals, Antitrust, and Facial Recognition

 

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NetChoice Concerned By Push for Government Intervention in Barr Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice raised concerns with some Senators’ politically motivated demands to punish the tech industry during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of William Barr.

 

“Weaponizing antitrust in order to attack online platforms sets a dangerous precedent,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Conservatives should turn to market-based solutions to solve perceived problems, not seek more intervention from big government.”

 

“Anyone who’s seen the movie “Vice” knows conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney fought against the so-called fairness doctrine for broadcast TV.  Only after eliminating “equal time” mandates did we see the rise of conservative voices like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,” continued Szabo.

 

“An internet unhindered by heavy-handed government regulation continues to help conservative voices be heard online. Had the proposals we heard in today’s confirmation hearing been implemented 10 years ago, modern conservative voices like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens would likely be no more than whispers.”

The Information - Tech’s Next Big Battle: Protecting Immunity From Content Lawsuits

Groups like NetChoice, a trade association for eCommerce whose clients include Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Hotels.com, are educating new and old members of Congress on the history and usefulness of the law.

“Without Section 230, we couldn’t have Yelp reviews. We couldn’t have services like Patreon or GoFundMe or websites like NextDoor,” said Carl Szabo, president of NetChoice, in an interview with The Information. “This is the most important law for the internet that no one has ever heard of.”

The British Are Coming — And This Time It’s for the 4th Amendment

Only weeks ago, the British government undermined our judicial process and attacked an American company. While this may sound like front page news, almost no one reported the violation of due process or came to the defense of this company — Facebook.

American company Six4Three has been engaging in a legal battle with Facebook over API access in California. Facebook’s intra-company emails were obtained as part of the suit and were protected from disclosure by a California Court. But Britain’s government ignored the judge’s order against disclosure, therefore ignoring American law and widely held notions of the rule of law.

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An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

Moving to a populist antitrust standard would undermine market-certainty and make the success of businesses contingent on whichever political party controls the White House. Antitrust would no longer be a tool for innovation but instead become a weapon for politicians to cut-down opponents. Moreover, it would serve to only increase the intra-fighting among Western business.

America must avoid such a devolution and Congress must step-up to stop in-fighting, which helps only the lawyers, some old-world competitors, and rival kingdoms seeking to displace America’s innovation leadership.

There’s no question that “Winter is coming.” The question is, are America’s leaders prepared to defend our kingdom?

NetChoice Commends Moderation Efforts by Tech Platforms

Today, NetChoice commended efforts by tech platforms to curb manipulation by foreign actors to influence American elections. The statement was made in response to President Trump’s comments made earlier today criticizing online platforms for their moderation efforts.

“Platforms are taking steps to curb manipulation – proactively addressing the issues raised by the recently released Senate Report on Disinformation Campaigns. This should be celebrated, not condemned,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “Condemning platforms for addressing foreign interference in our elections sends the wrong message.”

Handout for Panel "How Should Online Platforms Address Perceptions of Political Bias in Content Moderation for Social Media Platforms"

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

Disruptive Competitive Project - Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

Disruptive Competitive Project – Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

However, this progress has been criticized by a handful of commentators who are under the misimpression that inclusion of these longstanding protections will lead to political bias, or represent a departure from current U.S. law.  (For more on why neither Section 230 nor the USMCA provision are enablers of political bias, see this post by NetChoice’s Carl Szabo.)