The U.S. Department of Justice released a report on Wednesday recommending that Congress pass a law rolling back a longstanding legal protection for big tech companies regarding content control.
The DOJ report critically examines Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which gives immunity to tech companies from civil liability regarding content added or removed to their online platforms.
This immunity, according to the DOJ, “has left online platforms both immune for a wide array of illicit activity on their services and free to moderate content with little transparency or accountability.”
“Reform is important now more than ever,” states the report. “We must ensure that the internet is both an open and safe space for our society.”
Rather than eliminate the section, the DOJ recommended “a measured yet significant recalibration of Section 230 immunity” which would “clarify and restore the original objective of the statute and give clearer guidance to platforms and courts.”
Among the recommendations, the DOJ report advises deleting the phrase “otherwise objectionable” to Section 230’s list of content that platforms can censor with immunity.
“The vagueness of the term ‘otherwise objectionable’ risks giving every platform a free pass for removing any and all speech that it dislikes, without any potential for recourse by the user,” the DOJ report continues.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski