Many of us have read something untrue about ourselves on social media 🌐, but have you ever wondered who is held responsible for these comments?
Libel, or defamation, is the publication ✍️ of a false statement that damages someone’s reputation, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act rules that ISPs and platforms such as blogs, Vimeo, Yelp, and social media laws sites cannot be held responsible for libel or other illegal actions taken by their users.
It may seem like a no-brainer that social media platforms should be protected in this way, but supporters and opponents of the law have been battling it out ⚔️ for years… and Facebook is at the center of the conversation.
The two sides
Those in favor of Section 230 view Facebook as a forum for its users 👥 to practice their rights to freedom of speech 💬.
Additionally, many question how Facebook’s algorithm could possibly monitor every post 📝 on its site.
Contrarily, one strong argument against Section 230 claims that Facebook has a responsibility to monitor libel because of its unique revenue 💲 model, which at a basic level involves collecting #misinformation and repackaging it for users.
Facebook has the ability to share “fake news” 📰 and earn money for it, just like CNN, Fox, and other outlets; however, they are held to a much lower ⬇️ legal standard.
Is there an answer?
We’re all entitled to our opinions on Facebook; however, change is most likely not ❌ on the horizon when it comes to USC § 230.
Currently, lawmakers are a bit stuck in determining just which changes, if any, are fair and lawful while simultaneously protecting social media platforms and ISPs.
Without an answer in sight, we’re left with only our own opinions on Internet censorship and those we see online – until they’re censored, that is. 🤷♂️