Toward a Clearer Conversation About Platform Liability

Keller, Daphne

CIS Intermediary Liability Director Daphne Keller drafted this piece for the Knight First Amendment Institute’s “Emerging Threats” essay series, as a response to an essay by Fordham Law School’s Olivier Sylvain, Discriminatory Designs on User Data. Sylvain argues that a core U.S. Internet law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230), wrongly immunizes platforms for their role in disseminating online content that harms vulnerable and marginalized groups. Given platforms’ evolving ability to algorithmically curate and target user-generated content, he argues, the law should assign Internet companies greater obligations to prevent such harms.