USA: New bill "Safe technology" on content in RRSS

The proposal was made by Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Said bill seeks to modify the Internet law of 1996 in order to make it easier for people to sue social networks that have not removed content considered abusive or harmful by themselves, he said. CNBC. In the same way, it seeks that there are no obstacles to the application of the civil rights law.

Thanks to the aforementioned internet law, users who wish to demand the existence of harmful or offensive content find that, as a general rule, technology platforms have "generalized immunity from liability under section 230" (of the law of internet 1996). That is, in principle they have no responsibility for the content that users share.

What specifically does Section 230 say? "no provider or user of an interactive computer service will be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another provider of information content"

The proposed new bill would imply that such immunity reduces its spectrum of application, and is only limited to a few cases. On the other hand, it would also generate that they have responsibility for the advertisements that are directed to vulnerable consumers of scams or vulnerable products, as well as in the event that, it is considered that the social network has had a relevant role in situations of harassment, or intimidation or even around more serious crimes, as long as it is proven that the social network played a role in it.

Another important issue of this bill is that it does not allow lawsuits to be prohibited by reason of the Foreign Tort Claims Act. In other words, there would be no limitation for the demands of foreign victims to be attended without much difficulty. This is in response to the genocide events that took place in Myanmar fueled by Facebook's delay in removing hateful and disinformation content.

Is there a possibility that this project will come to fruition? According to Senator Warner this project "will only happen if it is bipartisan." And he has hinted that other Republican senators would agree with his proposal.

Detractors? According to the digital rights group "Fight for the Future" this bill "essentially destroys Section 230". In other words, it would be leaving aside the immunity from liability that platforms generally enjoy.


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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.


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