Art by Clark Miller and Shane Burke.

Section 230 Has to Go

Bradley Tusk
 |  Feb. 9, 2023 9:00 AM PST
Photo: Art by Clark Miller and Shane Burke.

On Monday, The Information published an opinion piece with the headline “Let Section 230 Stay.” Today, we present an opposing point of view.

If you’re reading The Information, you already know that the internet is a toxic waste dump. How could it not be? Negative content attracts more eyeballs than positive content. The platforms make their money on eyeballs, so they have no real incentive to change anything. This is why older Americans are constantly scammed into turning over their savings and why teenage girls can watch step-by-step instructions on Instagram on how to cut themselves. I don’t need to spend any more time telling you what you already know.

But here’s the interesting part: There’s a viable solution, and even in this highly polarized political environment in Washington, it could actually happen. In 1996, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act. Among its provisions was Section 230, which shields platforms from liability for the content posted by users—if I defame you on Twitter, you can sue me, but you can’t sue Elon Musk. But Acts of Congress are not etched in stone. They can be overturned, repealed or modified. And in the next few months, this could actually happen.

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