FOSI Briefs the Hill: SCOTUS Tackles Section 230






Image of the exterior of the United States Capitol building

Time: 11:00 AM EST

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

On February 21 and 22, the Supreme Court will hear two cases that have the power to drastically change some of the apps and platforms we use every day. In Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, the Justices will examine whether or not online platforms can be held liable for decisions made by algorithms and content recommendation systems that are core to the function of their products. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 has provided relative immunity to platforms for decades, saying that online platforms cannot be held liable for content that users write or post on their sites and apps. These two cases will test how far Section 230 protections extend and if justices will differentiate between users’ online posts and platform design features that amplify or minimize the spread of content.

This conversation will provide an overview of the arguments presented in the cases and panelists will react to the oral arguments and questions from the Justices. Panelists will also highlight the implications of the anticipated ruling to online safety and how online platforms would have to change their operations in order to comply. These cases could have enormous potential to reshape free speech online, determine future best practices for content moderation, and may even inspire Congress to respond by updating or clarifying Section 230.

Featured speakers will include:
Keith Chu, Office of Senator Ron Wyden
Jennifer Huddleston, CATO Institute
Caitlin Vogus, CDT

Andrew Zack, FOSI’s Policy Manager, will open the discussion and more speakers will be added shortly.

This is a widely attended event and is open to the press. For inquiries, contact [email protected].