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The Telecommunications Act’s “Good Samaritan” Protection: Section 230


(1) Overview

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is regarded as “the most important law in tech” because it encourages investment and innovation on the Internet by providing legal certainty to services that they will not be held liable for the speech or actions of third parties.  Section 230 makes possible the Internet as we know it today: social media, blogs, image sharing, forums and comment sections — any service that enables users to submit content.  Literally every online platform that allows users to post information, share content, and comment relies on Section 230.

(2) Articles

  1. Ron Wyden — CNN: I wrote this law to protect free speech. Now Trump wants to revoke it 6/9/2020
  2. Charles C. W. Cooke — National Review: Why We Need Section 230 6/4/2020
  3. Charles Duan, Jeffrey Westling — Lawfare Blog: Will Trump’s Executive Order Harm Online Speech? It Already Did 6/1/2020
  4. Elizabeth Nolan Brown — Reason: Trump’s Executive Order on Twitter Is a Total Mess 5/28/2020
  5. Sonam Sheth, Ashley Gold — Business Insider: Legal and tech policy experts say Trump’s draft executive order cracking down on social-media companies is dead on arrival 5/28/2020
  6. Eric Goldman — Technology and Marketing Law Blog: 46 Academics Encourage Congress To Consider Section 230’s Benefits 3/9/2020
  7. Eric Goldman — Technology and Marketing Law Blog: The PLAN Act Proposes to Amend Section 230 to “Protect”…Landlords and Hotel Chains? 10/16/2019
  8. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: Myths and Facts about Section 230 10/16/2019
  9. Eric Goldman — Technology and Marketing Law Blog: Top Myths About Content Moderation 10/15/2019
  10. Rob Winterton — Medium: Section 230 Should be in Our Trade Agreements. Here’s Why. 10/15/2019
  11. Kate Ruane, Jennifer Stisa Granick — ACLU: Our Online Speech Rights Are Under Threat 10/15/2019
  12. Ethan Wham — Disruptive Competition Project: An Economic Case for Section 230 9/6/2019
  13. Jonathan Band — Disruptive Competition Project: Section 230 and the Future of the Open Internet 9/5/2019
  14. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: Debate Over Online Content Embodies “Moderator’s Dilemma” 9/4/2019
  15. Ali Sternburg — Disruptive Competition Project: Why Do So Many Section 230 Stories Contain Corrections? 9/3/2019
  16. Carl Szabo — Morning Consult: Section 230 Is the Internet Law That Stops the Spread of Extremist and Hate Speech 8/27/2019
  17. Sarah Jeong — New York Times: Politicians Want to Change the Internet’s Most Important Law. They Should Read It First. 7/26/19
  18. Charles Duan — Washington Examiner: Trump wants an unbiased social media platform; he should have the government make one 7/16/2019
  19. Daisy Soderberg-Rivkin — Washington Times: Holding the technology industry hostage 7/1/2019
  20. Jonathan Band — Disruptive Competition Project: Trademark Decision Casts First Amendment Doubt on Hawley Bill 6/25/2019
  21. Jeffrey Westling — R Street Institute: Hawley’s Attack on Section 230 Hurts Conservatives 6/24/2019
  22. Bill Easley II — The Resurgent: When ‘Fairness’ Becomes Censorship 5/24/2019
  23. Ashkhen Kazaryan — Washington Examiner: Some conservatives need a First Amendment refresher 5/21/2019
  24. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: Section 230 Criticism Explained 3/14/2019
  25. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: House Hearing on Section 230: What’s the Problem with a Knowledge Standard? 10/4/2017
  26. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: SESTA Hearing: Searching for Common Ground, Fixes to Unintended Consequences 9/19/2017
  27. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: Content Providers vs. Content Hosts: Prosecuting Bad Actors Without the Backpage Bill 8/4/2017
  28. Matt Schruers — Disruptive Competition Project: Why State Regulation of Online Services Threatens the Internet Economy 8/3/2017

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(3) Letters and Testimony

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(4) Other Resources

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