Sex Trafficking Exceptions to Section 230

10 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 3 May 2018

See all articles by Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: September 19, 2017


Congress has provided Internet companies with a powerful immunity from liability for third party content, codified at 47 USC 230 (Section 230). Congress is considering bills that would amend Section 230 to create additional exceptions for sex trafficking. While Congress should be commended for its efforts to combat sex trafficking, the bills are not the right solution. This essay, based on my testimony at a hearing of Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, explains why.

Keywords: Section 230, 47 USC 230, CDA, Communications Decency Act, Sex Trafficking, Trafficking, Sesta, Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, Save Act, Backpage

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Eric, Sex Trafficking Exceptions to Section 230 (September 19, 2017). Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper, No. 2017-13, Available at SSRN: or

Eric Goldman (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-554-4369 (Phone)


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