Biden Demands End to CDA's Online Liability Shield

Biden Demands End to CDA's Online Liability Shield

LOS ANGELES — Former Democratic VP and current U.S. Presidential candidate Joe Biden is calling for an end to online liability protections established by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

The 1996 law provides protections for platforms that host user-generated content, which can include everything from uploaded videos to message board posts, to all forms of social media, user comments and more; some observers have suggested that affiliate links, review sites and even search engine listings are also in jeopardy if Section 230 of the CDA is repealed.  

Biden recently told the New York Times these protections should be “revoked, immediately.”

“[Facebook] is not merely an internet company. It is propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy,” Biden said. “You guys still have editors. I’m sitting with them. Not a joke. There is no editorial impact at all on Facebook. None. None, whatsoever. It’s irresponsible. It’s totally irresponsible.”

Much of the current election-year posturing is due to Facebook's stated refusal to police political ads for truthfulness.

“Facebook, like other social media companies, sees itself not as a publisher with editorial obligations but as a platform that enforces standards of conduct among users who are free to communicate with one another both publicly and privately,” observes Scott Rosenberg for Axios. “Critics contend that Facebook’s algorithms and human moderators are making digital-era editorial judgments when they decide what content is allowed on the site.”

“The bottom line [is that] Biden isn’t the only Democrat gunning for Section 230,” Rosenberg added.

“Facebook’s decision not to police fact in political speech and ads has made it some powerful enemies, and if the White House changes hands next year, it and other tech platforms could face a major fight.”

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