One example of United States legislation that excuses social media companies from liability from instances of communication depicting hatred and violence is Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act of 1996. It is said in Section 230 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”. This is basically saying that social media companies that choose to display or share content from another source, no matter how violent or harmful it may be, shall not be punished in any way, shape or form. It is giving these platforms a pass, and an excuse to be able to display any content that they wish if they are not the original source.
The title of the chapter, “The Myth of a Neutral Platform”, in T. Gilespie’s book suggests that social media is not the utopia it can be made out to be. There is a wide belief among society that social media is a place where everyone can go to be safe and be treated fairly, but this title says otherwise. For instance, “on twitter every single day there are thousands of people from all different racial, ethnic, and gender groups attacked with no punishments” (Walker and Cook). This shows that despite some claims, there is a continuous persecution of people on social media.
Gillespie, Tarleton. Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media. Yale University Press, 2018
“47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for Private Blocking and Screening of Offensive Material.” Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230.
“Section 230.” CCIA, http://www.ccianet.org/section230/.