Content Moderation 02/01/2021

Ditching Section 230 Would Make Free Speech Worse for Wear

Trace Mitchell
Trace Mitchell Policy Counsel

The digital fallout from the Capitol riots was considerable. We’ll likely be dealing with their effects for most of 2021. In the wake of the event, Americans of all stripes strongly condemned the events that transpired, loudly speaking out against the violence, intimidation, and property damage that occurred. The most notable fallout from the Capitol riots thus far has been social media sites suspending President Trump’s accounts on their platforms, citing concerns that his antagonistic rhetoric incited the day’s events.

Naturally, these decisions raised anew the long-debated questions about content moderation, specifically the impact of Section 230 — a law that grants liability protection to websites for third party content. While many on the right are concerned social media has gone too far in its efforts to moderate content, many on the left argue they have not gone far enough. And vocal proponents on both sides are starting to offer their “solutions,” which are mainly propositions to eliminate or modify liability protections for digital platforms.

Before chucking the baby out with the bathwater, however, we should all pause a moment and remember the critical balance Section 230 provides that enables us to chart a more reasonable path forward.

Read the full article in RealClear Policy here.

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