The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case with major implications for the internet.
The case involves Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which protects online companies from lawsuits by users.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to Section 230 immunity for social-media platforms Twitter, Facebook and YouTube
Cases over terrorist propaganda on social media open new challenge to internet companies’ immunity under Section 230 https://t.co/8uUMXSdgJj
— A. Squared from Flatland (@telecomsreg) October 4, 2022
“Industry groups and supporters of Section 230 argue that its protections make it possible for website publishers and app services to use and moderate user-contributed content in ways that benefit their customers and society,” Axios reported.
“The case, Reynaldo Gonzalez, et al v. Google LLC, alleges YouTube aided and abetted the killing of a 23-year-old American woman during the 2o15 ISIS attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and injured hundreds more,” it added.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will test the Section 230 protections that shield online platforms from lawsuits over moderation practices and user-posted content.
— Axios (@axios) October 3, 2022
One justice’s view
Justice Clarence Thomas expressed his concerns with Section 230 in a 2020 case.
“Courts have long emphasized nontextual arguments when interpreting 230, leaving questionable precedent in their wake,” the justice said.
“Extending 230 immunity beyond the natural reading of the text can have serious consequences,” he added.
The SCOTUS agrees to hear two Section 230-related cases, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, both stemming from terrorist content on the services (@gregstohr / Bloomberg)https://t.co/9HQJDBFE0Xhttps://t.co/0T1OmrQWc8
— Mediagazer (@mediagazer) October 3, 2022
The latest case addresses both terrorism and how social media companies should be handled by the courts.
The case could lead to massive changes, either by ruling in the case that the company had no liability or by making further requirements upon social platforms to protect against harm.
The consequences may soon be felt by all social users, despite the case ruling in one limited situation.