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Third Party Liability

A specific example of legislature that protects social media companies from being held liable for the actions or posts of a user on their platform, is section 230 of the communications decency act. Section 230 states that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider”. Ultimately it is saying that if the owners of Youtube are providing YouTube as a platform, they cannot be held responsible for the posts or interactions of one specific user on the platform. Basically any platform that publishes third-party content cannot be held responsible for the content of the third party. This information can be found at https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230.

The title of the chapter in Gilespies book is “The Myth of a Neutral Platform”. Dan and Patrick made the argument that these platforms cannot be neutral because of what happens daily on them, like racism, sexism, etc. To me, I believe that the platforms themselves can be neutral, but the content that is posted on them will never be controllable. For the platform to be neutral all that must happen is that everyone is treated with the same privileges with regard to censorship and accessibility. Although there is hate and bias on the platforms, that is from people who do not create the platforms, so therefore should not compromise the integrity of the platform itself.

Sources:

https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

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