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Home>Resource Center>Can the Internet survive without the Section 230?

Can the Internet survive without the Section 230?

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Almost everyone in Washington, regardless of party background, has a gripe with a controversial piece of legislation known as Section 230.

It's a small piece of the much larger Communications Decency Act signed in 1996, just a few years after the birth of the World Wide Web, that protects internet companies from being held liable for content published on their platforms and for moderating that content "in good faith."

Unlike a broadcaster or a newspaper, an internet company is not considered a publisher and can't be held responsible for posts written by its users or for taking down or promoting any of those posts.

Section 230 helped to establish the rules of the road on the internet when online chat rooms and bulletin boards were just coming online for the first time, and it led to the proliferation of the internet as we know it.

"Without Section 230, I doubt we would have seen the explosion of speech online and especially speech from everyday people, from you and I, from the non-elites," said Ari Cohn, free speech counsel at TechFreedom.

But as the internet has grown and evolved, so have concerns over the law.

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