Following multiple efforts to reform Section 230, including the President’s Executive Order, DOJ study, and other legislation, Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and John Thune (R-SD) introduced the bipartisan Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act in late June. The PACT Act would require platforms to respond to consumer complaints about content moderation and publish reports to foster transparency. The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing on July 28 on the bill, where Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) suggested amending the definition of “otherwise objectionable” content in Section 230 in order to narrowly define big tech’s immunity. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) brought attention to the liability disparity for paid ads between broadcasters and digital platforms, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed concerns over lack of liability for promoting certain content they happen to agree with. There remains strong bipartisan support to reform Section 230, and multiple bills about Section 230 remain active. The Alliance is following all developments regarding Section 230 closely, including its potential inclusion in trade agreements such as the U.S.-UK agreement that is currently being negotiated between the two countries. You can watch the full hearing here.
Members of the News/Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.