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Date: Sat, Dec 23, 2017 at 10:44 AM

[via Dave Farber]

Another Internet debate is simmering, specifically about the liability of online companies and their users:

> Twenty-six words within Section 230 shield websites from many types of
claims arising from user content: ``No provider or user of an interactive
computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any
information provided by another information content provider. For
example, if a newspaper publishes a defamatory article, the subject can
sue the newspaper publisher for defamation. But under Section 230, if a
user posts a defamatory comment on Twitter, the subject cannot
successfully sue Twitter for defamation (but can sue the tweeter).

> I'm writing a book about Section 230 for Cornell University Press, titled
*The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet*. The title is not an
overstatement. Without Section 230, it is difficult to conceive of social
media, consumer review sites, and other user-focused online platforms
existing in their current forms.

> Perhaps no case was more troubling to me than a lawsuit brought by
plaintiffs who were victims of sex-trafficking against Backpage.com, the
site where they were advertised. A district court granted Backpage's
motion to dismiss, relying on Section 230 immunity, and last year the US
Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the decision.



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