Celebrating Section 230

by on May 14, 2011 · 2 comments

My latest Forbes column is a celebration of 47 U.S.C. §230, otherwise known as “Section 230.” Sec. 230 turns 15 years old this year and I argue that this important law has “helped foster the abundance of informational riches that lies at our fingertips today” and has served as “the foundation of our Internet freedoms.”  Sadly, however, few people have even heard of it. Worse yet, as I note in my essay, this important law is under attack from various academics and organizations who want it modified to address a variety of online problems. But, as I note:

If the threat of punishing liability is increased, the chilling effect on the free exchange of views and information would likely be quite profound. Many site administrators would immediately start removing massive amounts of content to avoid liability. More simply, they might just shut down any interactive features on their sites or limit service in other ways.

Head over to Forbes to read the rest. And here’s a graphic I put together illustrating all the new fault lines in the war against Sec. 230. It will be included in a new paper on the issue that I am wrapping up right now.

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