For years, Section 230 was thought of as an internet bill. Originally passed in 1996, it was a way to guard against the purposeful spread of unsavory content on the internet. But the bill could never have contemplated the rise of social media platforms at a time when the most exciting thing you could do with your cell phone was a game of snake. But now, Section 230 is at the heart of a political and economic tornado that’s swept up freedom of speech, accountability, data security, political bias, and even sex-trafficking. Yet, the truth about Section 230 is that it has much to do with maintaining political influence and the exploitation of personal data than it does with your personal rights.

Section 230 has come storming back into the news cycle with President Trump vowing to veto the defense bill if it does not include language that would roll Section 230 back or repeal it altogether. 

Section 230 is designed to protect internet companies from being liable for any falsities, filth, or illegal content posted on their platforms. It also protects them from being sued for moderating that content. In other words, private tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have the legal right to censor posts they deem to be in violation of their standards.

This is legally viable because of two reasons: