Section 230 and the Public Interest: Proceed with Caution


This event is presented in partnership with New America’s Open Technology and Wikimedia.

OTI & Wikimedia

Trust and truth face unprecedented threats from AI chat bots, coordinated disinformation campaigns, and online extremism. But who do we hold accountable and how? Many lawmakers want to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields online platforms from liability for content shared by users. Critics argue a lack of platform accountability for content they host and amplify has exacerbated the problems of online extremism, disinformation, and manipulation of public opinion. But Big Tech social media companies aren’t the only beneficiaries of Section 230. Non-profit public interest organizations like libraries, digital archives, open data projects, and Wikipedia also depend on Section 230 to publish, organize, and curate the content that communities, educators, and public institutions share online. The Supreme Court considered two landmark cases indirectly challenging Section 230 this year. However, in late May 2023, the Court’s rulings in Gonzalez v. Google LLC and Twitter, Inc v. Taamneh sidestepped defining the scope of Section 230’s reach, sending the challenge back to lawmakers. 

Join New America’s Open Technology Institute and the Wikimedia Foundation on Tuesday, June 20, 12:30 - 2:30 pm ET for the hybrid event, Section 230 and the Public Interest: Proceed with Caution. We’ll hear public interest organizations discuss what’s at stake in the Section 230 reform debate and why lawmakers must take care not to damage our democracy further with hasty or overly-blunt Section 230 reforms.

The event will feature a keynote speech and conversation with Senator Ron Wyden, one of the original co-authors of Section 230, and Ashley Gold (Tech and Policy Reporter, Axios). 

The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: 

For in-person attendance, doors open at 12:00 pm ET at New America’s downtown DC offices (740 15th Street, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005). The event will also be recorded and streamed online for virtual attendees.

Join the conversation online by using #OTI230 and following @OTI.