Perhaps Facebook Supports Section 230 Reform Because It Could Make Big Tech Even More Powerful
Another day, another congressional hearing on the badness of Big Tech: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are set to testify Thursday on the role of social media in spreading political extremism and misinformation.
During his previous appearances on Capitol Hill—both virtually, and in person—Zuckerberg has signaled a willingness to accept some federal regulation of his platform. In his forthcoming testimony, Facebook’s chieftain will go further, explicitly suggesting that Congress update “the rules of the internet”: i.e., Section 230, the federal statute that grants social media companies protection from liability for third-party content that appears on their sites.
Section 230 is foundational to the internet because it allows websites to grant users broad freedom to post at will, without having to worry that the platforms themselves will face lawsuits. But it has recently come under attack from both the left and the right: Republicans think social media companies are biased against conservatives and that taking away their Section 230 privileges would constitute a suitable punishment; Democrats think social media companies don’t moderate content aggressively enough and eliminating their liability protection would push them to do more.
“I believe that Section 230 would benefit from thoughtful changes to make it work better for people, but identifying a way forward is challenging given th
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