WASHINGTON—NetChoice, CCIA and a coalition of trade groups filed an amicus brief today in support of Google in Gonzalez v. Google, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that could upend the way we use the internet.
In Gonzalez, the Court will consider whether Section 230 protects websites and online services from liability when they use algorithmic recommendation systems to moderate and curate useful content for their users.
“Content moderation and curation keep the internet safe and usable,” said NetChoice Counsel Chris Marchese. “Section 230 ensures content moderation and curation work at scale, which is why any gutting of the law will inevitably harm the internet and its users.”
“Imposing liability on websites for imperfectly moderating will only chill constitutional speech, stifle the diversity of voices online and punish what this heartbreaking case proves the internet needs: content moderation.”
In the brief, we explain that:
- With billions of new pieces of content uploaded every day, the internet requires organization. Content moderation not only keeps the internet safe, it also organizes and curates content for our benefit. Without this kind of curation, the internet would become useless for most Americans.
- Algorithms are essential for organizing and curating content. Not only do they help flag and remove harmful, unlawful content, but they also help organize content so users see relevant and useful information. Without algorithms, the internet could never function at its current scale.
- Organization and curation was done by algorithms at the time Congress passed Section 230, and Section 230’s text explicitly immunizes these functions from liability. The Supreme Court should uphold Section 230 and preserve the internet’s functionality and safety.
Authored by Goodwin Proctor, LLP, the coalition brief includes as signatories the Computer & Communications Industry Association, The App Association, The Information Technology Industry Council, Digital Media Association, The Interactive Advertising Bureau, and TechNet.