Bill unveiled to reduce Section 230 protections for social media companies

February 6, 2021 0 By boss


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company — and all social media companies — could lose some legal immunities. 

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New legislation from Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, would make changes to Section 230, which protects social companies for content published on their platforms. By loosening up the legal immunities, companies could face more lawsuits over what’s posted on their platforms. 

Warner introduced to the Senate his Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism and Consumer Harms Act, or SAFE TECH Act, on Friday. The bill would change the immunity social media companies receive under Section 230. This includes:

  • Allowing ads for scams targeting vulnerable consumers
  • Letting victims seek out legal action when the platform is used to cause harm
  • Upholding civil rights protections
  • Making sure platforms don’t interfere with cyberstalking laws and can be held accountable by victims of targeted harassment and abuse
  • Giving families a legal option against a platform if it directly contributed to the loss of a loved one
  • Providing victims of human rights violations abroad seek legal actions from US courts if a platform enabled such activities like the Rohingya genocide

“The SAFE TECH Act reaffirms that vital consumer safeguards and civil rights protections don’t end when activity moves online, preventing online providers from continuing to externalize the costs of their scale and mismanagement on the public,” Warner said in a release Friday.  

Section 230 is a provision in the Communications Decency Act and gives social media companies protection against content published on their platforms. Last year, the Senate held a hearing regarding the bias social media companies in the 2020 elections. Former President Donald Trump also took issue with the provision and vetoed a defense spending bill for not revoking the Section 230 protections.   

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