Section 230 is one of the most important laws protecting freedom of expression and human rights in the digital age. Attacking it is a hollow gesture with severe consequences for our communities — it would make it more difficult for web platforms to combat the type of dangerous rhetoric that led to the attack on the Capitol and could silence marginalized people, whose voices have been historically ignored by mainstream press outlets. In a letter to members of Congress and the Biden-Harris administration, MediaJustice and our allies cautioned lawmakers against responding to this month’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by making uncareful changes to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that could profoundly alter the state of digital free speech and human rights. MediaJustice National Organizer Erin Shields explains in CommonDreams.
Erin Shields via Common Dreams
“Lawmakers need to listen to the communities who are most impacted by systemic injustice before they enact legislation that could do enormous harm to vulnerable communities, silence activists, and put lives in danger. Unregulated tech companies have been allowed to make up their own rules for decades and as a result, they’ve weakened democracy, enabled violent white supremacists, and facilitated the spread of disinformation. As we assign blame for the violent attack on the Capitol, repealing Section 230 would only further entrench tech companies as judge and jury over content on the internet, a role they’ve proven ill-equipped to perform without harming the speech and safety of people of color and other marginalized voices. [Solutions] need to be focused on breaking up tech’s concentration of power, wealth, and control. Anything short of that is insufficient.”