Current law already protects and encourages content moderation
On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Leticia James called for new legislation to combat extreme content online, including changes to Section 230 and penalties for individuals who repost content created by the perpetrator of a homicide. James’ proposal follows a review by the attorney general’s office of how a shooter in Buffalo this year used the internet to publicize his attack.
“The gun violence crisis in our country is horrifying, and lawmakers have let it go unaddressed for too long,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “Penalties for creating homicidal posts have the potential to slow the spread of violent content online. But the AG’s proposal to change Section 230 to prevent the spread of violent content misunderstands that Section 230 already protects and encourages content moderation. The best way to protect content moderation is to protect Section 230, not to gut it.”
The last time Congress rolled back protections under Section 230 was the 2018 passage of FOSTA-SESTA, a bill meant to crack down on sex trafficking. Instead, the new law endangered the lives of sex workers who depended on an online infrastructure that was dismantled by the new law. Additionally, FOSTA-SESTA had limited utility for the Department of Justice in fighting crime. Some lawmakers including Rep. Ro Khanna now advocate for repeal of FOSTA-SESTA.
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