Competition and Content Moderation: How Section 230 Enables Increased Tech Marketplace Entry

12 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2022

See all articles by Jennifer Huddleston

Jennifer Huddleston

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Cato Institute

Cato Institute

Date Written: January 31, 2022

Abstract

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has played a pivotal role in fostering the internet ecosystem we have today. Although the law applies to millions of websites of all sizes, critics often misconstrue it as a special exemption for “big tech” companies, shielding them from legal scrutiny; however, platforms large and small are liable for all content they create or develop, even if only in part. Yet many lawmakers see Section 230 as a stumbling block impeding fairness and accountability online. Their arguments fail to consider the expansive impact that Section 230 has had in fostering and preserving a competitive online marketplace over the past 25 years. Its protections for both platforms and users have proven essential to increasing competition.

Keywords: Section 230, Internet Governance, Content Moderation, Communications, Legislation, Regulation

JEL Classification: D4, D41, D7, K1, O3, O38

Suggested Citation

Huddleston, Jennifer and Institute, Cato, Competition and Content Moderation: How Section 230 Enables Increased Tech Marketplace Entry (January 31, 2022). Cato Institute, Policy Analysis No. 922, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4029928

Jennifer Huddleston

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Cato Institute (Contact Author)

Cato Institute ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

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