Why Internet Companies Can't Stop Awful Content

5 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020

See all articles by Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Jess Miers

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2020

Abstract

This essay considers the widely held perception that the Internet is filled with awful content. That perception often overlooks (1) the pervasiveness of awful content offline, and (2) why content moderation efforts to control awful content will never be satisfactory. As a result, regulatory efforts to eliminate awful content online are doomed. In contrast, the existing immunity provided by 47 USC 230 has the surprising potential to lower the amount of awful content online below the offline content baselines.

Keywords: internet, content, section 230, 47 usc 230, cda, harmful content, online regulation, censorship, immunity

JEL Classification: D8, K42

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Eric and Miers, Jess, Why Internet Companies Can't Stop Awful Content (January 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3518970

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)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ericgoldman.org

Jess Miers

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

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