Jul 2, 2019

Interpreting CDA Section 230 and its Future

Is Section 230 due for a reform? And if so, how?
Brian Knight Senior Research Fellow , Jennifer Huddleston Research Fellow , Jeff Kosseff, Adam Candeub

The Communications Decency Act of 1996 was mostly an attempt to restrict and control certain objectional Internet content. But one sentence inside Section 230 of that Act has become the bedrock for protecting freedom of expression on the internet. In effect, it prevented websites, forums, and blogs from being held liable for what users say on these platforms, which has paved the way for the explosion of Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and many other tech companies. Indeed, Jeff Kosseff, one of the guests on today's episode of the Mercatus Policy Download, calls Section 230 "the 26 words that created the Internet."

But, as these platforms have grown larger and more central to public discourse, some are worried that Section 230 gives tech companies far too much influence in who can say what.

So, is 230 due for a reform? And if so, how?  Listen to today's epsiode to find out!

Leading the discussion is Mercatus scholar Brian Knight. He's joined by Jennifer Huddleston, a Mercatus law and technology scholar, Jeff Kosseff, Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity Law at the United States Naval Academy, and finally, Adam Candeub, a professor of law and the Director of the Intellectual Property, Information, and Communications Law program at Michigan State University.

Want to get in touch with one of our scholars featured on the Download? Email Kate De Lanoy at kdelanoy@mercatus.gmu.edu.

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Support Mercatus

Your support allows us to continue bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world policy solutions.Donate