From Washington Examiner:

Others are less certain of the bill’s viability. “SAFE TECH relies on a few flawed views,” argued Shoshana Weissmann, a fellow at the R Street Institute. “It removes Section 230 protection for most paid speech online, but online services are no better suited for immaculate moderation for paid content as opposed to free content. Whether for platforms with millions of pieces of content or a few dozen pieces of content, it is impossible to determine what content is illegal. That is why we have courts and judges who decide such things.”

Weissmann told the Washington Examiner that many of the reforms offered by tech-related bills, including the SAFE TECH Act, fail to make the key distinctions that they claim to make. For example, the SAFE TECH Act distinguishes that web interactions where money is exchanged would be exempt from Section 230 protection to regulate online advertising. While this sounds viable to a layman, it ignores that many online interactions are driven by financial exchanges, including web-hosting platforms.

Other tech policy organizations also echoed Weissmann’s thoughts. The Electronic Frontier Foundation described the bill as a “shotgun approach to Section 230 reform,” which would open the door to many lawsuits. Mike Masnick of the Copia Institute argued that the bill “effectively wipes out Section 230 protections for the entire internet while pretending it’s just a minor change.”


Featured Publications