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Justice Department Proposes Weakening Social Media’s Legal Shield

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Justice Department Proposes Weakening Social Media's Legal Shield

Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump want to pare back longstanding legal protections for Internet platforms. The Justice Department has asked Congress to pass legislation holding online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter more accountable for what their users post, in the Trump administration’s latest salvo against social media companies.

The proposed changes would reshape Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which has long protected websites from lawsuits over the content users post, and the decisions the companies make about moderating or removing content.

“For too long Section 230 has provided a shield for online platforms to operate with impunity,” said Attorney General William P. Barr in a statement . “Ensuring that the internet is a safe, but also vibrant, open and competitive environment is vitally important to America. We therefore urge Congress to make these necessary reforms to Section 230 and begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate criminal activity online.”

The legislative proposal sent to Congress on Wednesday calls for changing Section 230 in two ways. It narrows the circumstances under which tech companies can claim legal immunity for their decisions about what content to […]

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