Tags: Media Bias | section 230 | unlawful | content | mark zuckerberg | facebook | big tech

Zuckerberg to Suggest Internet Immunity Remain If Tech Removes 'Unlawful Content'

mark zuckerberg speaks before a congressional hearing
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 March 2021 10:44 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will propose a change in the law that provides Internet platforms with broad libel and defamation protection when he testifies before Congress on Thursday, suggesting the protection remain if technology firms enact "systems for identifying unlawful content and removing it."

Zuckerberg's comments will address what is known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which provided Internet publishers with a shield from libel and defamation lawsuits with ostensibly the purpose to keep pornography and other similar material from children.

The law treats the Internet companies as neutral bulletin boards, not responsible for the content posted by users the way news websites, television outlets, or print publications are.

However, conservatives have claimed outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have selectively chosen which content to allow and which to block, such as former President Donald Trump often having his posts labeled before he was banned from the platforms. That makes them, they claim, the same as any other publisher.

Liberals have called for the Internet companies to ensure "disinformation" and "hate speech" be removed to keep their immunity.

Zuckerberg, who is set to testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, would keep the protection if it meets the threshold of adopting measures to remove "unlawful" content, according to a copy of his planned opening remarks released by the House of Representatives.

"We believe Congress should consider making platforms' intermediary liability protection for certain types of unlawful content conditional on companies' ability to meet best practices to combat the spread of this content," Zuckerberg remarks read.

"Instead of being granted immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it. Platforms should not be held liable if a particular piece of content evades its detection — that would be impractical for platforms with billions of posts per day — but they should be required to have adequate systems in place to address unlawful content."

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will propose a change in the law that provides Internet platforms with broad libel and defamation protection when he testifies before Congress on Thursday.
section 230, unlawful, content, mark zuckerberg, facebook, big tech, internet, platform, publisher, bias against conservatives
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2021-44-24
Wednesday, 24 March 2021 10:44 PM
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