Imagine a world without the information sharing-giants of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or Reddit. It is nearly impossible to go a day without some type of exposure to content created, published, and shared on such platforms. A world without these platforms would bear a striking resemblance to the world in 1996, when Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”). The CDA, often referred to as “the 26 words that made the internet,” states that “[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In short, the CDA is a federal law that prevents websites, blogs, forums, and other sources of online information from being held liable for their users’ speech. The legal protections established in § 230 of the CDA are unique to the United States—European nations, Canada, Japan, and the vast majority of other countries do not provide such safeguards to internet companies. Despite the high levels of internet access in these countries, the largest and most prominent online services are located in the United States. Section 230 makes the United States desirable as a safe haven for internet providers who wish to provide controversial or politicized speech with a legal platform and environment which is favorable to free expression.

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