US Supreme Court takes on immunity for tech giants

  • In Business
  • 2023-02-19 02:08:52Z
  • By AFP

The US Supreme Court this week examines a quarter-century old law that has protected tech companies from lawsuits and prosecution for content posted by their users, with a chance that the rules governing the internet will no longer stand.

Enacted when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was just 11 years old and Google's creation still two years off, Section 230 is seen as a fundamental law of the internet and considered inviolable by its staunch defenders.

Section 230 was part of the Communication Decency Act, an anti-pornography law signed in 1996, that helped set the rules of the road for the internet, which was still in its infancy as an online playground for all.

The idea was to protect the then embryonic internet sector from cascading lawsuits and to allow it to flourish, while encouraging tech companies to moderate their content.

At the time most of the attention went on limits put on sexual content, a part of the bill that was backed by then president Bill Clinton and that was later struck down by the Supreme Court in a landmark case.

But inserted into the legislation was Section 230 which stated that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher" or hold responsibility for content that came from an outside party.

This immunity is largely seen as the regulatory tweak that would eventually free the way for Google search and sow the seeds for the social media revolution.

Under the  protection of Section 230, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube became the conduits of a world conversation without ever being at risk of lawsuit by someone taking offense at a tweet or a controversial video.

The law also protects Wikipedia or classified ads sites such as Craigslist whose success would also upend traditional media.

But opponents to the law would like to see platforms get sued for drug deals, cyber stalking and violent threats that take place on their sites.

To be sure, Section 230 is not free speech absolutism as endorsed by Elon Musk, the multibillionaire owner of Twitter.

Stung by scandals, big tech companies hire thousands of workers to moderate their platforms in order to preserve their huge audiences and big advertisers as well as avert closer government scrutiny.

But the work is never perfect, and companies still face challenges in policing posts from billions of users.

Courts in the US have regularly upheld Section 230 in its almost 30 years of existence, but its powerful backers are worried about the emotionally charged cases that will be put before the Supreme Court, both involving terrorism.

- 'Material support' for terrorism -

In two hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, the judges  will listen to arguments brought by families of the victims of jihadist attacks who accuse Google and Twitter of having "helped" the perpetrators, the Islamic State group, by publishing its propaganda.

By recommending "ISIS videos to users, Google assists ISIS in spreading its message and thus provides material support to ISIS...", lawyers for the family of Nohemi Gonzalez said in their legal brief to the court.

Gonzalez, a 23-year-old US citizen, was killed when ISIS terrorists fired into an outdoor crowd at La Belle Equipe bistro in Paris.

Twenty-eight state governments are also calling for a rethink of Section 230.

"What was enacted as a narrow protection from defamation liability has become an all-purpose license to exploit and profit from harmful third-party conduct," said a brief from several of those states, including Alabama and California.

The novelty of the case is that complainants this time are isolating algorithms as the cause of the harm, arguing that the highly complex recommendation systems perfected by big platforms fall out of the scope of Section 230.

The big tech industry, but all sorts of other actors as well, are firmly opposed to revisiting Section 230 and to the latest arguments being put forward.

"If this case alters federal law, companies are likely to respond in one of two ways to protect themselves legally," warned Matt Schruers, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

"Companies who could muster the resources would over-moderate everything, while others would throw up their hands and not moderate anything," he said.

In the other case to be heard on Wednesday, family members of Nawras Alassaf, a Jordanian killed in an IS group attack in Turkey, argue that Twitter did too little to weed out extremist content.

The court is expected to issue its rulings by June 30.



More Related News

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Maine hotel
U.S. Supreme Court to hear Maine hotel's bid to limit disability bias cases
  • US
  • 2023-03-27 13:41:58Z

(Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider whether to curtail lawsuits accusing hotels and other places of lodging of discriminating...

Kansas high court signals continued abortion rights support
Kansas high court signals continued abortion rights support

Kansas' highest court signaled Monday that it still considers access to abortion a "fundamental" right under the state constitution, as an attorney for the...

Tornadoes leave 26 dead, Biden proposes organ transplant system overhaul: 5 Things podcast
Tornadoes leave 26 dead, Biden proposes organ transplant system overhaul: 5 Things podcast

Dozens are dead after tornadoes tore through Mississippi, the Biden administration pushes for changes to the organ transplant system: 5 Things podcast

Protesters flood the streets of Israel after Netanyahu fires minister opposed to controversial reforms
Protesters flood the streets of Israel after Netanyahu fires minister opposed to controversial reforms

Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister, who had called for a halt on sweeping judicial reforms. Netanyahu's proposal has sparked months of protests in...

Israel's Netanyahu fires minister after judicial reform comments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday fired Defence Minister Yoav Galant a day after he broke ranks, citing security concerns in calling for a ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Josephcer
    (2023-02-19 20:19:08Z)

    You actually said it exceptionally well. college essay papers

  • west palm beach financial advisor
    (2023-02-20 10:50:02Z)

    Where by maybe you’ve discovered the resource for the purpose of this write-up? Brilliant reading I’ve subscribed for your feed.

  • Crseuz
    (2023-02-22 05:20:21Z)

    buy lanoxin online cheap buy lanoxin without prescription molnupiravir uk

  • Chsfwo
    (2023-02-24 20:32:35Z)

    buy diamox 250mg pill purchase diamox generic azathioprine online order

  • Pxwswo
    (2023-02-26 10:18:32Z)

    order digoxin 250mg sale digoxin buy online oral molnupiravir 200 mg

  • Cxkcfe
    (2023-02-28 16:14:38Z)

    buy coreg pills amitriptyline 50mg canada amitriptyline 10mg usa

  • Qisapx
    (2023-02-28 18:42:14Z)

    amoxicillin 500mg drug purchase amoxil without prescription ivermectin lotion

  • Andrewsaumn
    (2023-02-28 20:26:50Z)

    Thanks. I like this.
    do my computer science homework do my math homework i do my homework in spanish

  • Djubwd
    (2023-03-02 03:47:32Z)

    order fosamax 35mg sale oral alendronate motrin 600mg for sale

  • Dahxza
    (2023-03-02 05:20:25Z)

    priligy 30mg us domperidone over the counter domperidone order online

  • Oytdyq
    (2023-03-03 19:35:48Z)

    buy indocin 75mg sale order indocin 75mg for sale cenforce 50mg uk

  • Hectordex
    (2023-03-04 03:33:24Z)

    You actually expressed that adequately!
    fast essay writer automatic essay writer write an essay for me cheap

  • Mrmaey
    (2023-03-05 04:03:47Z)

    order pepcid 20mg sale remeron 30mg price order mirtazapine sale

  • Xshiro
    (2023-03-05 07:59:12Z)

    purchase doxycycline online cheap methylprednisolone 4 mg over the counter methylprednisolone 4 mg tablets

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-05 23:59:55Z)

    Appreciate it! A lot of posts.
    thesis writing claim/thesis thesis statement on healthcare analytical thesis

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-06 01:19:17Z)

    Many thanks. Quite a lot of data!
    admission essay writing service cheap assignment writing service uk writing a customer service cover letter professional research writing service
    essay helper help with nursing essays myassignmenthelp help with essay papers
    expository essay help

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-06 02:18:26Z)

    Great knowledge. Appreciate it!
    top rated essay writing service paper writing service college essay writing online personal statement writing service

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-06 07:22:28Z)

    Nicely put. Thank you!
    custom dissertation writing help dissertation writing service uk dissertation methodology dissertation express
    coursework help uk i can t do my homework pay someone to do my homework online pay me to do my homework
    meaning thesis

  • Hqcsin
    (2023-03-06 14:37:37Z)

    order ropinirole 2mg sale order generic rocaltrol labetalol 100 mg oral

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-06 20:41:24Z)

    You mentioned this fantastically!
    online essay writing service cheap essay writing service fast admission essay writing what is the best essay writing service reddit
    proposal writers for hire research paper to buy purchase a research paper scientific project proposal
    college essay prompts

  • Sltbwv
    (2023-03-07 09:42:31Z)

    cheap tadacip 20mg tadacip oral trimox 500mg us

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-07 10:58:06Z)

    Great write ups. Regards!
    paper writing service scams paying someone to write your paper custom research paper writing services paper writing service scams
    essay writer help how to advertise resume writing service best assignment writing service reddit writing service
    best custom essay writers

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-07 15:11:22Z)

    Truly tons of helpful material.
    do my online math homework can you do my math homework do my acees homework help me get motivated to do my homework

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-07 16:47:00Z)

    Amazing facts. Many thanks.
    term papers writing a research proposal apa buy a research paper for college research proposal writing
    free paper writing service essay writing service vancouver essay write service essay review service
    can money buy you happiness essay

  • Fbojop
    (2023-03-08 04:47:54Z)

    fenofibrate 160mg drug order viagra pills order viagra 100mg online cheap

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-08 09:26:48Z)

    Kudos! I like it.
    essay writing tutor best essay writing service 2017 reddit writing an opinion essay top college essay writing services

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-08 11:13:31Z)

    Thank you! I enjoy it!
    pay someone to write your paper pay to write a research paper buy your essays where to buy an essay online

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-08 12:41:53Z)

    Many thanks, Quite a lot of knowledge.
    write paper for me cheap research paper writer service how to write a science paper who can i pay to write a paper for me
    paper writers cheap write paper for me review write my paper for me professional research paper writer
    write my essay affordable

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-08 14:19:39Z)

    Wonderful material. Kudos!
    research paper thesis statements college thesis statement writing a good thesis statement for a research paper developing strong thesis statements
    how long to write my paper what should i write my paper about do my papers how to write an abstract for a research paper
    college essay harvard

  • Akbuah
    (2023-03-08 22:42:50Z)

    buy esomeprazole 40mg without prescription clarithromycin price order furosemide online

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-09 06:45:16Z)

    Beneficial content. Regards!
    argumentative essay thesis thesis statement finder customer service thesis best thesis writing service in uk

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-09 07:53:34Z)

    You have made your position pretty well!!
    thesis statment where do you put a thesis statement in a research paper service quality assessment thesis explanatory thesis
    research proposal dissertation custom term paper writing services term papers for sale writing services for research papers
    college student essay

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-09 11:56:32Z)

    Beneficial content. Kudos!
    thesis proposal example thesis writing service online in usa doctoral thesis is the thesis in the introduction

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-09 16:45:14Z)

    Many thanks, I like it.
    where to buy college research papers contents of research proposal dissertation research proposal research proposal dissertation
    order of essay writing pay someone to do my essay pay someone to do essay essay order
    help to write essay

  • Apikbw
    (2023-03-09 17:50:43Z)

    tadalafil 10mg brand Buy cialis online without prescription viagra over the counter

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-10 01:10:07Z)

    You've made your point!
    essay and dissertation writing service essay and dissertation writing service best essay writing service 2016 essay writing service reddit

  • Uvsejg
    (2023-03-10 12:29:25Z)

    minocin 50mg cost hytrin pills order terazosin 5mg without prescription

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-10 14:25:22Z)

    Truly all kinds of helpful data!
    how to write a college essay essay assignment help help to write an essay help to write essay

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-10 19:11:25Z)

    Great forum posts, With thanks!
    why are thesis statements helpful tom march thesis bachelor thesis writing service write thesis online
    where to buy college essays essays for sale online order of writing an essay buy an essay paper online
    essay pay write

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-10 19:30:45Z)

    Regards. Very good stuff!
    press release writing service professional resume writing service cost pilot resume writing service writing a college application essay

  • Hjvthr
    (2023-03-11 12:08:27Z)

    buy generic cialis 5mg levitra visa buy ed pills best price

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-11 21:33:32Z)

    Factor clearly applied!!
    buying papers for college research paper writing service 2019 with native english speakers paper writing services online buy custom papers
    russell baker on becoming a writer essay i don t know what to write for my essay can someone write my personal statement for me writing college essays
    easy essay writing

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-12 02:39:13Z)

    You actually reported it fantastically!
    write essay help essay about helping others english essay helper apps that help write essays
    buy a essay buy essays papers buy essays online best place to buy essay online
    parents writing college essays

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-12 04:15:35Z)

    Seriously lots of amazing tips.
    top essay writer can someone write my thesis for me essay writer com write my essay discount code

  • Qlfbrh
    (2023-03-12 11:37:42Z)

    purchase glucophage order verapamil generic order nolvadex sale

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-12 20:33:15Z)

    Nicely put. Thank you.
    essay help site edu i need help writing a essay essay writing helper online essay writing help
    buy essay online safe pay people to write essays pay to write paper order a paper essay
    what is a thesis for a masters degree

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-12 22:10:15Z)

    Good tips. Thanks!
    debate thesis custom thesis writing thesis editing is my thesis statement strong enough

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-12 23:50:49Z)

    Cheers! Excellent stuff.
    dissertation research doctoral dissertation help dissertation abstract length help writing my dissertation
    dissertation hypothesis help abstract dissertation dissertation writing services review dissertation buy online
    the value of a college education essay

  • Yjluus
    (2023-03-13 08:17:32Z)

    order provigil generic stromectol 3mg ca purchase phenergan generic

  • Zhfopv
    (2023-03-14 08:40:26Z)

    clomid uk brand clomiphene 100mg cheap prednisolone pill

  • Pitzcp
    (2023-03-15 01:45:57Z)

    cost deltasone 20mg prednisone cost buy amoxil 250mg pills

  • Lwxasm
    (2023-03-16 05:39:52Z)

    isotretinoin 40mg brand ampicillin 500mg usa generic acillin

  • Hidaqj
    (2023-03-17 02:11:01Z)

    top erection pills pregabalin online order buy generic propecia

  • Gqgwfc
    (2023-03-19 02:32:37Z)

    order zofran 4mg generic order zofran pills bactrim 480mg over the counter

  • Gyrqlw
    (2023-03-20 13:12:11Z)

    accutane medication cheap amoxicillin pill cheap azithromycin 500mg

  • Frcvgf
    (2023-03-21 03:19:18Z)

    albuterol cost generic synthroid 100mcg cost augmentin 1000mg

  • ManuelLitle
    (2023-03-21 16:34:42Z)

    Thank you, Awesome information!
    hire writer for essay write my essayz argumentative essay writer how to write an about me for a blog
    writing an essay introduction linkedin profile writing service reviews uk paper writing services for college students lab report writing service uk
    how to write an apa essay

  • Patrickhar
    (2023-03-22 03:40:05Z)

    Kudos! Fantastic stuff!
    online essay writer paper writer for hire how to write a paper professional term paper writers

  • Gifxtf
    (2023-03-22 23:58:23Z)

    buy prednisolone 40mg without prescription prednisolone 5mg canada order lasix 40mg for sale

  • Oljhpn
    (2023-03-23 02:28:43Z)

    buy provigil 100mg generic order modafinil 100mg online lopressor 50mg brand

  • Feacmt
    (2023-03-25 01:51:07Z)

    avodart 0.5mg without prescription avodart 0.5mg ca orlistat 120mg over the counter

  • Hxwrtp
    (2023-03-25 10:46:38Z)

    order doxycycline pills oral doxycycline 200mg buy acyclovir online cheap

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-25 14:02:17Z)

    Wonderful stuff. Regards.
    high school essay help help write an essay help writing argumentative essay writing an essay help
    cheap essay writing service australia top essay writing services uk linkedin profile writing service customer service writing training
    need essay written

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-26 02:48:34Z)

    With thanks. Loads of stuff!
    custom dissertation writing services phd thesis writing services uk dissertation editing services order dissertations online

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-26 12:45:04Z)

    Good content. Kudos.
    paper writing service reddit buy college paper academic paper writing service the paper writing service
    best thesis writing service online persuasive essay thesis bachelor thesis writing service thesis statement for persuasive essay
    scholarship essay writing service

  • Hvzimo
    (2023-03-26 23:51:46Z)

    buy imuran 50mg pill telmisartan 20mg usa naprosyn 250mg usa

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-27 01:43:25Z)

    Incredible lots of terrific info!
    essay help websites need help to write an essay essay on self help is the best help help with college essay

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-27 11:50:50Z)

    You said it nicely.!
    professional dissertation writing service cv writing service ireland essay writing service uk reviews essay writing book
    buying research papers online essay proposal term paper writer college research proposal
    learn to write an essay

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-28 00:32:39Z)

    Fine stuff. Kudos!
    pay for papers written buying an essay online pay for papers buy pre written essay

  • Wznclf
    (2023-03-28 01:55:00Z)

    oral oxybutynin 5mg order generic trileptal 600mg order oxcarbazepine without prescription

  • BrandonBuh
    (2023-03-28 10:41:18Z)

    Superb tips. Thanks!
    when revising a narrative essay the writer should include write an essay for me free write my narrative essay what to write my college essay about
    buy a dissertation online help buying a dissertation write my dissertation for me uk dissertation publishing company
    college essay music

  • Mkpdtx
    (2023-03-28 20:05:43Z)

    order generic omnicef purchase protonix pill buy pantoprazole pill

  • Andrewnit
    (2023-03-28 23:21:49Z)

    Truly many of very good advice!
    cheap essay help write essay rutgers essay help essay help writing


Top News: Business