The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in two internet-law cases focusing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. That provision
Section 203(c)(1) of the Communications Decency
Act immunizes an “interactive computer service” (such
as YouTube, Google, Facebook and Twitter) for “publish[ing] … information provided by another” “information content provider” (such as someone who posts
a video on YouTube or a statement on Facebook). This
is the most recent of three court of appeals’ decisions
regarding whether section 230(c)(1) immunizes an interactive computer service when it makes targeted
recommendations of information provided by such another party. Five courts of appeals judges have concluded that section 230(c)(1) creates such immunity.
Three court of appeals judges have rejected such immunity. One appellate judge has concluded only that
circuit precedent precludes liability for such recommendations.
The question presented is:
Does section 230(c)(1) immunize interactive
computer services when they make targeted
recommendations of information provided by
another information content provider, or only
limit the liability of interactive computer services when they engage in traditional editorial functions (such as deciding whether to
display or withdraw) with regard to such information?
Use of recommendation algorithms.