A new bill introduced by Senate Democrats proposes to change Section 230, core U.S. legislation that shields social media and Internet providers from liability for publishing false or misleading information and from responsibility for the user content they publish. Section 230, which the New York Times quoted President Biden as saying should be “immediately revoked,” gives the Internet companies unique immunity not granted to publishers or other media. The SAFE TECH Act would make an exception “when the provider or user has accepted payment to make the speech available,” which would impact not only advertising but other kinds of paid services, including for premium web hosting. On the upside, the change would require more accountability from companies and would provide recourse to victims of cyberstalking and Internet harassment.
Note: I’m currently reading Jeff Kossoff’s excellent book, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet, about Section 230 and its history.