Tech Policy

Joint Center President Presents on Section 230 and Why Social Media Platforms Do Not Have a License to Discriminate

On May 20, Joint Center President Spencer Overton presented at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ online convening on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In his presentation, Spencer explained why Section 230 does not exempt social media platforms from civil rights laws when they target ads along racial lines and result in discrimination in voting, housing, lending, or employment against African Americans or Latinos.

Spencer’s argument can also be found in a paper he published earlier this year, State Power to Regulate Social Media Companies to Prevent Voter Suppression.

The convening also included a presentation by John Bergmeyer, who authored What Section 230 Should and Should Not Protect and How to Go Beyond Section 230 Without Crashing the Internet.

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund advisor Cheryl Leanza moderated the event.

About Joint Center

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, America’s Black think tank, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1970 and based in Washington, DC. The Joint Center's mission is to inform and illuminate the nation's major public policy debates through research, analysis, and information dissemination in order to improve the socioeconomic status of Black communities in the United States; expand their effective participation in the political and public policy arenas; and promote communication and relationships across racial and ethnic lines to strengthen the nation's pluralistic society.