Social Media requires more than Section 230 Reform

Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, are virtual communities. What were once sparsely populated online villages scattered across the Internet have transformed into complex societies serving billions of users. The speed in which these online societies have evolved and grown have long outpaced the laws and regulations designed to govern them. With few exceptions, the laws governing social media entities have largely remained unchanged since the late nineteen nineties.

The most prominent and controversial law is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Passed in 1996 to protect websites that sought…


Revisiting the Year that Changed America, Twenty-Five Years later.

Twenty-five years ago, in 1994, America embarked on a road that would eventually lead to the election of Donald Trump. At the time, it would have been easy to miss the significance of the events that set America in motion. Internationally, we witnessed critical moments like the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa’s first democratic election and the devastating Rwandan genocide. Domestically, we saw the launch of NAFTA, the passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the Federal Crime Bill. In pop culture, Friends and ER were considered “Must…


SECTION 230 OF THE COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT:

A BLUEPRINT FOR REFORM

Andrew P. Bolson

Privacy Initiative of New Jersey

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was signed into law

by President Clinton on February 8, 1996.

For some perspective:

1996

20 million Americans had access to the Internet

AOL was the world’s largest Internet provider

Google did not exist

Mark Zuckerberg was 12

100,000 websites existed

On average, Americans spent less than 30 minutes a month on the Internet

2019

312 million Americans access the Internet

In 2015, AOL sold to Verizon for $4.4 billion

Google is the fourth…


On February 16, 2018, thirteen Russians and a Russian corporation were indicted by Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election. The indictment detailed a massive and well-orchestrated Russian scheme to use social media to manipulate American public opinion, to stir existing tensions and to undercut American democracy. At the heart of the scheme was the creation of fake social media accounts that were used by the Russians to spread its divisive messages on topics such as immigration, race and religion. …


Technology has revolutionized nearly all aspects of modern life. Email, smartphones and social media are so ingrained into our society that it has become hard to remember how we existed before them. On a daily basis, we see what was once considered science fiction become reality. However, the breakneck speed of innovation has come with a cost, most notably to our collective notion of privacy. With modern technology, it is increasingly hard to achieve what has been described as the right to be let alone.

Modern technology poses particular challenges to privacy because it acts as a double edged sword…

Andrew Bolson

New Jersey Attorney/Privacy Advocate. Fighting to safeguard privacy rights, to reform Sec. 230 of the CDA and to protect American democracy in the age of Trump.

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