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What Is Section 230 and Why Should I Care?

In the video above, Jeff Kosseff, a cybersecurity law professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, talks about the history and future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

What is Section 230?

Created in 1996, Section 230 is considered one of the most consequential laws governing speech on the internet and essentially protects sites like Facebook and Twitter from liability for content created by their users.

There has been a renewed debate over Section 230, with some arguing that the law gives tech companies too much power to restrict what appears on their sites, while others posit that companies bear too little responsibility. Kosseff discusses the relationship between the First Amendment and Section 230 and the current Capitol Hill battle over the law’s future.

Kosseff is the author of “The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet,” which provides a nonfiction, narrative history of Section 230.

First Five Now is a Freedom Forum conversation that explores topical issues and features current newsmakers who are using the five freedoms of the First Amendment to guide their work.

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