US President Joe Biden believes companies should be held accountable for web moderation, and it all stems from a Supreme Court case examining the algorithms used by Google-owned YouTube, which allegedly serves pro-ISIS content to users recommended.
The problem is that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 has been around for nearly three decades and many have argued that it is no longer equipped to address this issue.
It has been one of Biden’s reform goals, and a recent lawsuit has also caught the attention of numerous corporate entities and Big Tech companies.
Biden sides with Republicans
A recent report from CNBC (opens in new tab) has found that the Biden administration shares the same sentiment as many senators from the other Republican party: that Internet companies’ immunity under Article 230 should be limited — in other words, online activity should be more accountable.
CNBC also noted that the American Civil Liberties Union, the libertarian Cato Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had all taken the other side — in favor of Google — in the debate.
While reforms are still in the works, Biden has yet to discuss what changes he can bring to the table regarding the 27-year-old law.
A lawyer discussed the implications Google’s loss could have for the court beyond Big Tech. They explained that even non-associate content moderators, such as those on Reddit, could be held liable for their actions in court.
Whether the law simply needs to be reformed due to age or clarification, Section 230 will need to be addressed and any changes will have significant, far-reaching consequences.