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Discussion of Online Service Providers Limiting Essay

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Updated: Aug 15th, 2022

The proposed changes are to be implemented in Section 230 of the United States Communications Decency Act, which provides unlimited immunity to online service providers and has allowed a certain degree of violation to the First Amendment rights revolving around the freedom of speech. The law regarding Civil Liability states that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers being obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected” (Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material, 47 USC 230, 2021).

The given line is the problematic part of immunity, where online service providers are not liable for blocking one’s voice through restricting access or availability of material, which violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution on freedom of speech.

The proposed revision is to hold online service providers accountable for such actions and make them responsible for proving why such restriction or access availability reduction was conducted. Firstly, the law can allow service providers to host harmful content with impunity. Secondly, the providers can limit one’s voice on their platforms, which hinders their right to freedom of speech. In my opinion, online service providers should not be able to limit access or availability of material, and thus, provide a neutral platform for free communication, and if they decide to intervene, the providers need to be held liable and justify their actions. This will promote reluctance among service providers to restrict or limit access, and therefore, freedom of speech will be preserved.

Reference

Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material, 47 USC 230. (2021). Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Discussion of Online Service Providers Limiting." August 15, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/discussion-of-online-service-providers-limiting/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Discussion of Online Service Providers Limiting'. 15 August.

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