Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

School

CAS

Department

Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media Department

Faculty Advisor

Susan Alessandri

Abstract

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was intended to reform the telecommunications industry, most especially with its inclusion of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The CDA can be viewed as the first act of Congress attempting to regulate the Internet. One of the most prominent parts of this act includes Section 230, which states that websites and Internet providers are not legally responsible for third-party content, including the content of their users and consumers (1996). Since the rapid growth of social media and advancement of technology, Section 230 of the CDA has been a subject of debate. Congress is debating whether to repeal this form of protection. On one hand, taking away this form of protection would demand platforms to be more cognizant of the content they host. In doing so, this can put an end to the spread of hate speech, white supremacy, conspiracy theories and other forms of misinformation, all of which have rattled American politics (McNamee, 2020). However, removing Section 230 can also lead towards an increase in censorship (Cooke, 2020). This creates fears over the possibility that platform regulation could violate the First Amendment. This case study will analyze previous legislative attempts at either repealing or curbing the influence of Section 230 of the CDA.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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Communication Commons

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