There’s a lot of chatter among members of Congress about changing an obscure yet critically important law that’s made the Internet as we know it possible: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).
As more lawmakers speak out about Section 230, it’s important to understand that this section of the law enables us all to have a voice online. Rolling back CDA 230 will suppress voices and do irreparable harm to the Internet – and society – as we know it.
If you want Internet Association member companies to take down content that is ostensibly legal (or even illegal) that no reasonable person would want online, then you should care about CDA 230.
So, what exactly is it and why does it matter?
Passed in 1996, the Communications Decency Act was one of the first major pieces of legislation regulating the Internet. Section 230 of this law specifies that all online platforms have the right to moderate, delete, or remove illegal or unsavory content from their platforms, and says these platforms aren’t considered publishers of user-generated content.
If we want to use laws and regulations to make the Internet a better and safer place, we need to carefully consider how new rules might impact the parts of the Internet we value most and how these new rules might apply to the wide range of services that we rely on every day.Michael Beckerman, President & CEO of Internet Association