Plus   Neg

Justice Department Proposes Limiting Immunity For Online Platforms

online protection 061820 lt

The Department of Justice is proposing to update the immunity granted for online platforms, aiming to make them responsible for the content on their services.

The reform proposals would provide stronger incentives for these internet companies to address illicit content on their sites, and make them more transparent and accountable to their users.

The proposal follows President Trump's executive order signed in late May to limit legal protections enjoyed by social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. Trump had threatened to close down online platforms after Twitter alerted users to fact-check his "false claim" that Mail-In Ballots will lead to massive corruption and fraud.

The proposals were set forth following a review by the department on online platforms and their practices, which were announced in July 2019. According to the DoJ, Section 230, which provided immunity, was meant to nurture emerging internet businesses and protect developing technology by providing that online platforms were not liable for the third-party content on their services or for their removal of such content.

However, years of drastic technological changes and an expansive statutory interpretation left online platforms unaccountable for a variety of harms flowing from content on their platforms, the department noted.

The Department is now proposing four categories of wide-ranging recommendations. These include incentivizing online platforms to address the growing amount of illicit content online, and promoting free and open discourse online and encourage greater transparency, among others.

The department added that Section 230 immunity does not apply to civil enforcement actions brought by the federal government, and that federal antitrust claims are not, and were never intended to be, covered by this immunity.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Follow RTT