The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Supreme Court hands tech companies a win, and not just about Section 230

By Will Oremus

18 May 2023 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

The Washington Post examines the Supreme Court's ruling, which found Twitter, Google and Facebook not liable for hosting terrorist content, casting a spotlight on the unchallenged Section 230.

In a pair of lawsuits targeting Twitter and Google, the Supreme Court had its first chance to take on the 1996 law that helped give rise to social media. But instead of weighing in on Section 230, which shields online services from liability for what their users post, the court decided that the platforms didn't need any special protections to avoid liability for hosting terrorist content.

That finding issued Thursday is a blow to the idea, gaining adherents in Congress and the White House, that today's social media platforms ought to be held responsible when their software amplifies harmful content. The Supreme Court ruled that they should not, at least under U.S. terrorism law.

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