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Profs. James Long and Victor Menaldo in The Seattle Times, "Section 230: Friend, not foe, of free speech"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on January 26, 2021 - 1:32pm

Recently, in The Seattle Times opinion section, Professors James D. Long and Victor Menaldo write about Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act and why it should be retained.

"Gutting content posted by third parties would make them much more risk-averse and thus truly censorious." Before section 230 was the law of the land, digital platforms did not do much moderating at all or, more typically, they did too much of it, truly stifling viewpoint diversity and engaging in pearl-clutching prudery.

"A better use of Congress’ time, if they are worried about technology and democracy would be to promote civic education and provide broadband to all Americans to help both spread accurate information about how the election is conducted and debunk conspiracy theories by helping to disseminate facts on, yes, digital platforms. The truth is, the demand-side factors driving misinformation and conspiracy theories will endure if the commercial internet as currently constituted disappeared tomorrow. The answer to the rampant fear, distrust, polarization, and uncertainty about the fast-changing world is not to ban the messenger but to do something about the message. Policymakers would be wise to focus on those who have been left behind by globalization, racial injustice, and ignorance."

For the full read please link here.