Why Section 230 Is Better Than the First Amendment

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47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”) immunizes Internet services from liability for third-party content.

47 U.S.C. § 230 (“Section 230”) immunizes Internet services from liability for third-party content. This immunity acts as a crucial legal foundation for the modern Internet. However, growing skepticism about the Internet has placed the immunity in regulators’ sights.

If the First Amendment mirrors Section 230’s speech protections, narrowing Section 230 would be inconsequential. This Essay explains why that’s not the case. Section 230 provides defendants with more substantive and procedural benefits than the First Amendment does. Because the First Amendment does not backfill these benefits, reductions to Section 230’s scope pose serious risks to Internet speech.

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