President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that targets social media platforms and the content on their sites.
The executive order aims to remove the protections of Section 230 in the Communications Decency Act. By repealing Section 230, social networks would be legally responsible for what people post on their platforms.
The law that protects speech over the internet has been around for more than 20 years, but has been targeted by politicians of both major parties, including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Here’s what you need to know about Section 230, including how it’s shaped the modern internet.
What is Section 230?
The Communications Decency Act was established as Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, right as the internet was growing and expanding amid the first big tech boom of the 1990s. It was initially created to regulate pornographic material on the internet.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Christopher Cox (R-CA) created Section 230 within the Communications Decency Act to protect speech on the internet.
Long before social networking, Section 230 was meant to cover sites like news outlets with comment sections, online forums, and other websites where people could contribute their thoughts. Without Section 230, most of the sites we use today — including Google and Facebook — would not exist as we know them.
“It was very relevant 20 years ago for certain websites to happen,” said Zohar Levkovitz, CEO of anti online toxicity company L1ght.
What protections does it provide?
Section 230 says: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”https://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/what-is-section-230-the-legislation-protecting-social-media/