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SCOTUS Considers Challenge to Section 230

Posted on in The Judiciary · Congress · American Government · The Media

The Communications Decency Act passed in 1996 to regulate explicit content and to support innovation within the still fledgling internet. Section 230 was later added by amendment to ensure that technology companies would not be treated as publishers of third-party content. Section 230 contributed to the explosive growth of the internet and gave broad legal immunity to technology companies for user content on their platforms. Section 230 has been invoked frequently in lawsuits as technology has become ubiquitous in everyday life.

Why were major parts of the CDA overturned by the court?

Instructors: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download: CQP_Lecture_Spark_PPT_SCOTUS Considers Challenge to Section 230


News Articles

The Supreme Court Won’t Fix Section 230 for the Same Reason as Congress: It’s Political | Analysis

The Wrap


What is Section 230, the rule that made the modern internet?

Washington Times


How the Supreme Court could reshape the internet as you know it



How an obscure legal doctrine called the Henderson test could weaken Section 230 and change free speech on the internet



What we learned from two rounds of Supreme Court arguments over internet liability

Yahoo Finance


Supreme Court skeptical of limiting powerful legal shield for internet companies

CBS News


9 People Hold the Internet’s Fate in Their Hands



What is Section 230? How two Supreme Court cases could break the internet as we know it.

USA Today



Writing: Explain how tech companies would operate differently if Section 230 is repealed. Is it truly possible for tech companies to moderate all user content?

Debate: Should the government exercise more oversight of tech companies, or should tech companies be left to self-regulate?

Poll: Should Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act be repealed?

Short Answer: What are the 26 words in Section 230 that some say created the modern internet?

News Quiz


The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the Section 230 case in July. (T/F)

Texas and Florida have passed laws which restrict the ability of social media companies to moderate content. (T/F)

The U.S. Congress seems poised to swiftly reform Section 230 regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. (T/F)

Multiple Choice

Which popularly used website said it owed their existence to Section 230?

  1. eBay
  2. Uber
  3. Wikipedia
  4. TikTok

According to experts, what is the name of the legal test that could significantly weaken the power of Section 230 if applied?

  1. Henderson Test
  2. Lemon Test
  3. Miller Test
  4. Sullivan Test

What did Justice Kagan call the Communications Decency Act?

  1. a solution looking for a problem
  2. Big Brother overreach
  3. a pre-algorithm statute
  4. the death knell for the internet

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