General United States World

Zuckerberg to Congress: Make Tech Regulation better, Not Ruin Tech Companies

Section 230 is up on the chopping block, as the Senate Commerce Committee, and CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter prepared and released remarks on Tuesday against repealing Section 230. Section 230 is the statute protecting social networks from liability for their users’ posts. Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday.

The issues with social networks and their moderation or failure to moderate content posted by users have become a hot topic in recent years as fake news and misleading information have caused mass issues.

The committee will examine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which was in effect since 1990s. Twitter’s choice to block an unverified New York Post story regarding “smoking gun” email related to presidential candidate Joe Biden.  Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter defended the existence of Section 230, claiming that this law allows smaller, less funded companies to compete against the better-funded, larger companies. Should Section 230 be repealed, social networks would further be forced to limit their ability to address harmful content due to legal liability exposure. Twitter has promised to increasing transparency. Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook continues to argue that the government should take a more active role in regulating tech companies. In fact, Zuckerberg explained that platforms could face liability for even basic moderation without Section 230. He encourage Congress to update Section 230 so that it worked better, but acknowledged the public upset behind Section 230. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai equally provided that Section 230 allows Google to provide access to a wide range of information and viewpoints, which has also been foundational to US leadership in the tech sector.

Ultimately, tech sector may require better regulation by Congress, but exposing tech companies to legal liability for user content may ultimately create a barrier for many people from even becoming users and limiting the amount of important information available for view by the public.

Coree ILBO/ copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

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