WASHINGTON—This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law will hold a hearing on “Platform Accountability: Gonzalez and Reform.” Senators will discuss Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 and Gonzalez v. Google, a case about Section 230 currently pending at the Supreme Court.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and former Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA) wrote Section 230 in 1996 to protect online services from liability over hosting and moderating user speech. They knew then that this liability shield would be critical to ensure speech, safety and commerce thrived on the internet. This is equally true today.
“Section 230 is the backbone of free speech on the internet. Gutting Section 230 opens the door for private litigants to sue online services for hosting any content they find offensive. This will stifle constitutionally-protected speech, limit the diversity of voices on the internet and disincentivize investment in digital innovation,” said NetChoice Associate Counsel Nicole Saad Bembridge. “The Subcommittee should seriously consider the ways Section 230 has formed the dynamic, free internet we enjoy today.”
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