Supreme Court Decision on Section 230 Saves the Internet…For Now, Says ITIF
WASHINGTON— In response to the Supreme Court decision in Gonzalez v. Google, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the leading think tank for science and technology policy, issued the following statement from ITIF Vice President Daniel Castro:
Despite demands from critics, the Supreme Court rightly decided to allow Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to remain in place. Internet users across America, whose free speech and favorite online services were imperiled, can now let out a collective sigh of relief. Section 230 provides the foundation for the modern Internet by ensuring neither businesses nor consumers are held liable for the speech of others.
This case and Twitter, Inc. v. Taamneh exemplify the challenges online services routinely face from frivolous lawsuits. With hundreds of millions of users globally, online services are met with a mountain of legal threats because they make compelling targets. Online services continue to be liable for their own speech and conduct, but this decision affirms that courts should not hold them liable for the speech of third parties.
Section 230 still faces threats from legislative proposals in Congress. Hopefully, lawmakers will also see the light and recognize that gutting this law is not in the best interest of U.S. consumers or businesses.
For more on this issue, see:
- Robert D. Atkinson, Jackie Whisman, and Ashley Johnson, “Podcast: Should Section 230 Cover Algorithms? What’s at Stake in Gonzalez v. Google, With Ashley Johnson” (ITIF, 2023)
- Ashley Johnson, “If the Supreme Court Limits Section 230, It Will Change the Way the Internet Functions” (ITIF, 2023)
- Ashley Johnson, “The Supreme Court May Take Out One of the Pillars of the Modern Internet” (ITIF, 2022)
- Ashley Johnson and Daniel Castro, “Overview of Section 230: What It Is, Why It Was Created, and What It Has Achieved” (ITIF, 2021)
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute focusing on the intersection of technological innovation and public policy. Recognized by its peers in the think tank community as the global center of excellence for science and technology policy, ITIF’s mission is to formulate and promote policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress.