Supreme Court Could Gut Google’s Power 

( Section 230, which gives tech platforms immunity over content posted by users, is currently facing scrutiny in the US Supreme Court in Gonzalez v. Google. 

Reynaldo Gonzalez sued Google under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act after his daughter was among those killed in the 2015 ISIS Paris attack. In his suit, Gonzalez claims that Google assisted ISIS by hosting recruitment videos on YouTube, which Google recommended to users through its algorithm. By doing so, Gonzalez argues, Google is liable for helping the terrorist group. 

The lower courts ruled in Google’s favor by broadly interpreting Section 230 to argue that the tech company can’t be liable since ISIS created the content and the algorithm treated the ISIS videos the same as other videos. 

If the Supreme Court rules to limit Section 230 immunity, it could change the way social media platforms deal with user-generated content, according to Newsweek. 

In a statement to Newsweek, Sophia Cope, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that limiting Section 230 would force social media platforms to take steps to censor speech or “alter the services” provided to users. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is among the groups that filed an amicus brief to the Court in support of Google. 

Cope notes that in its amicus brief, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued that limiting Section 230 would “incentive” platforms to remove more user-generated content while limiting the tools users have to “organize content.” 

Major Big Tech companies, including Microsoft, Meta, and Google all filed amicus briefs to the Court opposing limits to Section 230. 

Writing on behalf of Google, in January, the liberal advocacy group Chamber of Progress warned that limiting Section 230 “would dramatically alter the Internet” for the billions worldwide who use it for “information, education, entertainment, and income.” 

Microsoft argued in its amicus brief that limiting Section 23 would strip “long-standing, critical protection” in ways that are “illogical” and “inconsistent” with how algorithms function. 

Meta, meanwhile, maintained in its brief that Congress, and not the Court, has the authority to amend Section 230.