SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Craig Newmark and the Electronic Frontier Foundation today jointly released an infographic that details the benefits of a federal law that is a mainstay in protecting free speech on the Internet.
"CDA 230: the Most Important Law Protecting Internet Speech" is a fact-filled look at the law that prevents websites, blogs and forums from being targeted as a means to silence free speech. It protects web services and social networks from being sued for hosting third-party speech and comments.
"This law helps protect free speech online," said Newmark. "It's made a huge contribution to the explosion of innovation and expression online, and we need it." Newmark, who is the founder of craigslist, participated through his craigconnects initiative.
"Congress got it fundamentally right in passing CDA 230," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "Speech should not be left vulnerable to collateral threats aimed at providers who allow millions of people to speak and obtain information online. Providing strong legal safeguards for Internet platforms ensures that as many people as possible have the opportunity to participate online."
"If we lost this law it would probably destroy the Web as we know it," said Newmark. He said that if CDA 230 did not exist, popular sites such as Huffington Post, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit and others could be sued every time a user crossed the line. Blogs, forums and other sites that often deal with controversial issues could be held legally accountable for comments made by third parties. Innovation would be diminished as new social media platforms and products would face huge new obstacles to getting started. Review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie's List could similarly be pressured to silence unpopular opinions.
"Countless sites and online services that people rely on every day exist because of a legal and technical framework that encourages the hosting of a wide range of speech and not censoring what we say, what we see, and what we do online," said Zimmerman. "CDA 230 is instrumental in protecting that framework."
Originally part of the Communication Decency Act of 1996, Section 230 was retained after other parts were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. This section survived and has been a valuable defense against legal challenges for Internet intermediaries ever since.
About the Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit, member-supported civil liberties organization working to protect rights in the digital world. EFF actively encourages and challenges industry, government, and the courts to support free expression, privacy, and openness in the information society. Founded in 1990, EFF is based in San Francisco, California. EFF has members all over the United States.
Launched in 2011, craigconnects is Craig Newmark's personal, Web-based initiative to support philanthropy, public service and organizations getting results in both areas. The initiative spotlights individuals, organizations and agencies working for veterans and military families, open government, public diplomacy, back-to-basics journalism, consumer protection, election protection and voter registration. craigconnects is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.
Media Contact, craigconnects.org
Media Contact, Electronic Frontier Foundation
SOURCE craigconnects/Electronic Frontier Foundation