🧨 How top lawyers envision an internet changed by Section 230 reform

The feeling that the internet is due for major change is hanging in the air thicker than ever. 

Section 230, the late 90s law that protects companies from speech made by users on their platforms, is a hot topic among lawmakers. We’ve shared stories about why politicians want to make changes and what those changes could be.

But here’s something else: a sampling of what lawyers believe Section 230 reform would mean, for better or worse, as told to The Verge.

Laurent Crenshaw, Patreon: “If we had to proactively take steps to identify and monitor, validate, and verify that content prior to posting, it would be incredibly difficult for (Patreon) to exist.

Even little tweaks, like when they talk about removing language around “otherwise objectionable” content, which really is what gives platforms the ability to have their own moderation guidelines — it’s just incredibly concerning.”

Katie Jordan, The Internet Society: “It’s also about the underlying infrastructure and the intermediaries that move content and data from one place to another, whether it’s cloud providers, domain name registries, email servers, things like that. If cloud providers get wrapped up in this conversation about pulling back intermediary liability protection, then by default, they’re going to have to reduce privacy and security practices because they’ll have to look at the content they’re storing for you, to know if they’re breaking the law.”

Carrie Goldberg, victims’ rights attorney: “If you harm your users, you should be sued, no matter how big or small. The solution for small platforms is to honor the people using your product and make it safe. In no other industry is liability for harms based on the size of the business. My law firm of 13 employees can be sued just as easily for harms we cause as a law firm with 2000 employees. My solution is to honor and cherish my clients and not harm them.”