Tech Policy

The Implications of Section 230 for Black Communities

The Implications of Section 230 for Black Communities

A draft of key research, sponsored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, “The Implications of Section 230 for Black Communities,” was posted on the Social Science Research Network.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act enables technology platforms to host and remove user-generated content without fear of liability for either the content or the moderation decisions.

For years, experts and advocates have called for Congress to reform Section 230, for courts and the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret it, and for states to regulate tech platforms in ways that some argue conflict with Section 230. Unfortunately, despite the significant opportunities and challenges to Black communities stemming from the law, no entity has comprehensively examined the implications for Black communities of Section 230 or proposed Section 230 reforms. This article fills that void.

The Joint Center conceived of this project. With the generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Joint Center commissioned landscaping research, supported the co-authors’ work on the project, and organized workshops to obtain feedback from leading academic, public interest, and private sector experts.

A final version of the article will be published in the William & Mary Law Review in October 2024. Read the draft here.