Why dismantling Section 230 would shatter free speech and innovation
Over the last few weeks, several congressional committees have debated the future of free speech online.
Since 1996, internet platforms hosted speech by users thanks to the protections in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This law holds individuals responsible for what they post online and it has enabled American companies to provide the world’s most cutting-edge technology in communication, business and entertainment. Removing Section 230 protections would threaten America’s global Internet and innovation leadership, cripple Internet small businesses, hurt investment in many Internet start-ups and trample our principle of free speech.
In about two dozen words, the law states: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” With that clear safeguard, Section 230 establishes the core, commonsense principle that responsibility for online speech lies with the speaker, not the host. It ensures the survival of the internet economy and creates the cornerstone of online free expression we enjoy today.