Tech Policy

Joint Center President Publishes Article on Section 230 Entitled ‘State Power to Regulate Social Media Companies to Prevent Voter Suppression’

Joint Center President Spencer Overton published an article, State Power to Regulate Social Media Companies to Prevent Voter Suppression, in the University of California, Davis Law Review.

Section 230 of the Federal Communications Act of 1934 generally prevents platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from being held legally liable for content created by third-party users—such as a post by a person with a Facebook page or a tweet by a person with a Twitter account. Spencer’s article explains that Section 230 does not limit the power of States to hold social media companies legally responsible for using data collection and algorithms to target Black voters with suppressive ads, however, because by using these techniques companies contribute materially to discrimination and are thus ineligible for Section 230 immunity.

Read it here.


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.