The U.S. has a law called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states “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.” This law was created so Internet Service Providers (such as Comcast or AT&T) could provide content but not be held responsible for what everyone says on the internet. This same legislation also applies to social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, but they have come under fire for using it to evade responsibility. Some lawmakers are calling for Section 230 to be reformed and treat social media companies as “publishers” instead, while other lawmakers want Section 230 to remain the same or even be removed.
1. The pro-regulation side has a major premise that social media companies act more like publishers than platforms, since they pick and choose which content they allow. How persuasive is this argument, and why?
2. How concerned should we be about conspiracy theories and echo chambers developing on social media?
3. Would regulating social media lead to increased or decreased freedom of speech for individual users? Support your answer with facts and evidence.