“Section 230” of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is arguably as important to free expression online as the First Amendment. It provides broad immunity for online service providers with respect to material posted by third parties. Section 230 has spurred rapid growth in online content and services by freeing ISPs, content hosts, social networks, and others from worrying about potential liability for the material stored on or moving across their networks, thus ensuring a flexible environment for innovation and growth. Without Section 230, “Web 2.0” sites would be unwilling to accept user-generated content because of liability concerns. CDT regularly works to defend Section 230 and promote its application in order to maintain a vibrant and innovative Internet.
Intermediary Liability and Section 230