SIIA Warns Congress Against 'Dangerous' Sec. 230 Changes

SIIA President Jeff Joseph (Image credit: SIIA)

A major software and digital content association is raising red flags over reports that amendments to social media's Sec. 230 immunity from third-party content moderation are being considered as part of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act.

“We are alarmed by reports that amendments to Section 230 are being considered as part of the [Act]," said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. "We urge Congress to abandon this dangerous course, which will weaken United States leadership in the internet sector."

Related: Sen. Judiciary Tells Big Tech That Change Is Coming

The Trump Administration has pushed for weakening the immunity, arguing Twitter and others hide behind the immunity shield to censor conservative speech, including by the President. But Democrats, including President-elect Joe Biden have said the section needs updating and Biden has said it may need to go altogether.

Joseph argues that if change does come, it should not be rushed.

"Section 230 is vital to the continued strength and global leadership in technological innovation, and our economy overall," he said in a statement. "Any efforts to repeal or revise this important provision must be narrowly tailored and reached through a bipartisan consensus in the normal process of regular order or risk devastating consequences for our members and the millions of Americans who use internet platforms to engage in public discourse, build community, and expand economic opportunity."

He said amending NADA was not that process and he strongly opposed adding Sec. 230 amendments. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.