Ellysse and Ashley Break the Internet: The Ins and Outs of the Section 230 Debate

What exactly is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and why is a 1996 law so important today? Why have Presidents Biden and Trump both said they want to repeal it? Was it to blame when Twitter and Facebook banned Trump from their platforms, or was it the reason they didn’t ban him sooner?

Join policy analysts from the world’s leading tech policy think tank as they break down one of the most contentious debates about free speech, intermediary liability, and the future of the Internet. Ellysse and Ashley Break the Internet takes a deep dive into the ins and outs of Section 230, providing fresh insights and new perspectives with leading policy experts, advisers, and advocates from across the political spectrum.

This 12-episode podcast series asks what will happen if policymakers keep or repeal the law credited with creating the Internet and explores the opportunities for Congress to make the law even better.

 

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Episode 1: An Introduction to Section 230, With Cathy Gellis

Cathy Gellis, veteran Internet professional-turned-lawyer working in the intersection of technology and civil liberties, joins Ellysse and Ashley to explain what Section 230 is, what it does, why it has attracted so much attention and controversy, and what the key players in the debate are saying.

Episode 2: A Brief History of Section 230, With Patrick Carome

Patrick Carome, one of the leading advocates in Section 230 litigation famous for representing AOL in the landmark Section 230 case, Zeran v. AOL, joins Ellysse and Ashley to explore the history behind Section 230, Congress' intentions in passing it, and the foundational case that set the precedent for how courts interpret it.

Episode 3: The Political Debate Over Section 230, With Klon Kitchen

Klon Kitchen, tech policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute who authored the Heritage Foundation’s Section 230 reform proposal, joins Ellysse and Ashley to unpack the political debate surrounding Section 230 and the treatment of political speech online.

Episode 4: Evaluating Proposals to Amend Section 230, With Aaron Mackey

Aaron Mackey, staff attorney and free speech expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, joins Ellysse and Ashley to evaluate recent proposals to amend or repeal Section 230 based on their potential impact and effectiveness.

Episode 5: How Section 230 Shapes Content Moderation, With Daphne Keller

Daphne Keller, platform regulation expert at Stanford University and former Associate General Counsel for Google, joins Ellysse and Ashley to explain Section 230’s role in shaping how large companies approach content moderation on a massive scale, and how intermediary liability protections allow platforms of all sizes to thrive.

Episode 6: How Section 230 Promotes Competition, With Jessica Ashooh

Jessica Ashooh, Director of Policy at Reddit, joins Ellysse and Ashley to explore the impact of Section 230 on small to mid-sized companies and explain its importance for innovation and competition in the Internet economy.

Episode 7: A News Media Perspective on Section 230, With David Chavern

David Chavern, CEO of a news industry trade association representing nearly 2,000 publishers, joins Ellysse and Ashley to discuss the impact of Section 230 on traditional media and the spread of misinformation, as well as how the news industry handles the issue of intermediary liability.

Episode 8: An International Perspective on Section 230, With David Kaye

David Kaye, free speech expert at the University of California, Irvine, joins Ellysse and Ashley to explore the challenges of developing effective and culturally relevant content moderation policies in different countries and how intermediary liability laws like Section 230 impact online speech for billions of users around the world.

Episode 9: Section 230 and the Fight Against Online Abuse, With Elisa D’Amico

Elisa D’Amico, co-founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project—which provides pro bono legal assistance to victims of nonconsensual pornography—joins Ellysse and Ashley to explain the unique challenges the Internet poses for combatting online abuse, the struggles victims face seeking justice, and the role online platforms play in moderating abusive content.

Episode 10: How Section 230 Safeguards Civil Liberties, With Jennifer Huddleston

Jennifer Huddleston, tech policy expert at the American Action Forum, joins Ellysse and Ashley to highlight the benefits of Section 230 for free speech, competition, and innovation and explore the potential implications of new regulations for civil liberties.

Episode 11: Section 230 and the Need for Change, With Andrew Bolson

Andrew Bolson, privacy lawyer advocating for Section 230 reform, joins Ellysse and Ashley to evaluate the need for Section 230 reform in order to protect consumers and limit online abuse, suggest what form that should take, and explain the risks of taking a subjective approach to reforming online intermediary liability.

Episode 12: What the Future Holds for Section 230, With Neil Chilson

Neil Chilson, tech policy expert at the Charles Koch Institute and former FTC chief technologist, joins Ellysse and Ashley to forecast where the debate surrounding Section 230 is heading and present a vision for the future of content and online speech regulation.

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Ellysse and Ashley Break the Internet: The Ins and Outs of the Section 230 Debate