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SCOTUS Considers Section 230 Immunity for Third-party Content on Internet Platforms

This directly relates to Google and YouTube

In what could be a seminal case of the Internet age, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) this week heard arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, its first case concerning the hotly debated Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The case's potential ramifications might be gleaned from the 70-plus amicus briefs filed by major companies, states, elected officials and organizations.

Section 230 provides immunity to Internet platforms from liability arising out of third-party content posted to the platform's websites. The statute prevents a "provider or user of an interactive computer service" from being treated as "the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." In this case, the Gonzalez family sued YouTube for making targeted recommendations of recruitment videos created by the terrorist organization ISIS. The Gonzalez's daughter died in an ISIS terrorist attack, and they claim that Section 230 should not shield YouTube from civil liability when its algorithms recommended harmful content such as these videos.

YouTube's parent company, Google, countered that almost every major Internet platform uses algorithms to provide content to users, for a variety of reasons, and that limiting Section 230 to exclude protection where algorithms are used would stifle the Internet as it's known today.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Vennable, LLP.

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