Section 230 Expert Slams Senate Democrats’ Proposal to Amend Law

October 3rd, 2021 3:15 PM

Jeff Kosseff, an expert on Section 230 and cybersecurity law, slammed plans from Democrats in the Senate to amend the law.

Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act protects internet companies from being sued for what users post on their platforms. It also prevents companies from being sued if they decide to take something down. 

Senator Amy Klobuchar is hoping to expand the law so that social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are responsible for “health misinformation” about COVID-19, among other things.

Senators Mazie Hirono and Mark Warner are also backing proposals to amend the law. 

Jeff Kosseff, an Associate Professor and cybersecurity expert at the U.S. Naval Academy, said the proposals are extremely dangerous.

“Again with this?” he tweeted alongside a screenshot of an article discussing the proposal. “Vesting a single government official with the power to declare what is “health misinformation” is by far the scariest 230 reform proposal that I’ve seen. It would never survive a 1A challenge but it is frightening that this continues to be part of the discussion.”

“Why stop with health? Why not create a misinformatiom [sic] czar in the White House who can decide what is ‘fake news?’” he continued. “Then any social media site that uses an algorithm to “promote” that content loses 230 protection for it. What could possibly go wrong?”

Kosseff went further when a user suggested that the law should be passed to protect against “misinformation.”

“In March 2020, would it have been considered misinformation to claim that masks protect against Covid?” he asked. “Or that Covid spreads by air?  Who determines what is “well-known information that is false?” What are the penalties for disagreeing?”

"In the past 12 hours, I’ve learned that many people who spent four years terrified about the threats to democracy from the executive branch think that we should give that branch the power to designate and punish misinformation," he concluded.


Conservatives are under attack. Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives.