DOJ wants to relax Big Tech protections
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/17/20, 05:53 pm
WASHINGTON—U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday encouraged Congress to give the Department of Justice more leeway to regulate online services provided by companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. The proposed changes would clarify that the federal government can hold Big Tech corporations accountable for knowingly allowing content that violates the law, acting in bad faith to suppress certain views, and breaking antitrust laws.
Why were those businesses protected in the first place? Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act designated such companies as “platforms,” not “publishers,” granting them legal immunity from lawsuits related to user-created content. But complaints against Big Tech have piled up in recent years, from platforms contributing to human trafficking to social media sites unfairly censoring conservative political views.
Dig deeper: Read June Cheng’s report on Zoom’s suspension of an account belonging to a Chinese human rights activist based in the United States.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.