Democratic Bill Would Suspend Section 230 Protections When Social Networks Boost Anti-vax Conspiracies
Two Democratic senators introduced a bill Thursday that would strip away the liability shield that social media platforms hold dear when those companies are found to have boosted anti-vaccine conspiracies and other kinds of health misinformation. From a report: The Health Misinformation Act, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), would create a new carve-out in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to hold platforms liable for algorithmically-promoted health misinformation and conspiracies. Platforms rely on Section 230 to protect them from legal liability for the vast amount of user-created content they host.

“For far too long, online platforms have not done enough to protect the health of Americans,” Klobuchar said. “These are some of the biggest, richest companies in the world and they must do more to prevent the spread of deadly vaccine misinformation.” The bill would specifically alter Section 230’s language to revoke liability protections in the case of “health misinformation that is created or developed through the interactive computer service” if that misinformation is amplified through an algorithm. The proposed exception would only kick in during a declared national public health crisis, like the advent of Covid-19, and wouldn’t apply in normal times.

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