The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a major challenge to the internet legal shield known as Section 230, which has long protected social media web

Supreme Court dismisses challenges to Section 230, the legal shield that protects websites

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2023-05-22 08:00:02

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a major challenge to the internet legal shield known as Section 230, which has long protected social media websites from being sued for what users post there.

In a short unsigned opinion, the court said it would not rule on the potentially momentous issue because the plaintiffs had no valid claims that Twitter or Google had aided terrorists, an allegation that was at the heart of their lawsuit.

The outcome came as relief for social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube that have grown and prospered due in large part to the protections set by Congress at the dawn of the internet.

“This is a huge win for free speech on the internet,” said Chris Marchese, Litigation Center director for the tech lobbying group NetChoice. “The court was asked to undermine Section 230 — and declined.”

Section 230 has been dubbed “the 26 words that created the internet” because it said that “interactive computer service” can be a platform for free speech and shall not be “treated as the publisher or speaker of any information” posted there.

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