The US Supreme Court is considering major social media platforms such as Twitter, and YouTube should be held liable for their most dangerous posts.
The cases challenge the broad protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which shield social media platforms and other Internet companies from legal liability by saying they’re not legally responsible for third-party content posted on their platform.
In the case of Gonzalez v. Google, family members of a victim in the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks sued Google, alleging that YouTube (a Google company) should be held liable after its algorithm recommended ISIS recruitment videos to potential supporters. In the Twitter v. Taamneh case, which also involves Facebook and Google, the court will determine if social media companies can be held responsible under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows lawsuits against anyone who "aids and abets" an act of international terrorism. The Biden Administration has argued for narrowing the scope of Section 230 to make it more possible to sue social media platforms.
However, First Amendment advocacy groups have warned that such restrictions could chill free speech, and tech platforms argue that a ruling against them would result in disastrous consequences, either restricting any content that could possibly be considered legally objectionable or leaving everything up with no filtering of obviously problematic content. The rulings in these cases are expected to come by late June or early July.
Arpit is a dreamer, wanderer, and a tech nerd who loves to jot down tech musings and updates. With a logician mind, he is always chasing sunrises and tech advancements while secretly preparing for the robot uprising.