SCOTUS Supports Section 230 Protection Review for YouTube – ExtremeTech

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The United States Supreme Court has taken up a case that will test the true limits of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The case, Reynaldo Gonzalez et al against Googlewonders if YouTube can be held responsible for hosting and recommending videos that recruit people into terrorist organizations and incite mass violence.

The case involves the death of an American woman named Nohemi Gonzalez, who was in a bistro in Paris when IS militants launched a series of deadly attacks. attacks. ISIS killed Gonzalez and 19 other diners at the bistro alone; militants in other Parisian restaurants, bars and entertainment venues claimed the lives of a further 111 people and injured at least 350 on the same night. Gonzalez’s family claims that ISIS’s online recruitment efforts were integral to carrying out these attacks, and that many of these efforts took place on YouTube. According to them, Google “knowingly allowed ISIS to post hundreds of radicalizing videos on YouTube inciting violence and recruiting potential followers to join ISIS forces” before Gonzelez’s death. Worse, YouTube reportedly recommended these videos to users, thereby providing “material support” to ISIS.

(Photo: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash)

“Google selected users to whom it would recommend ISIS videos based on what Google knew about each of the millions of YouTube viewers, targeting users whose characteristics indicated they would be interested in ISIS videos,” reads The report. court case, which was recently returned to the Supreme Court by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Thanks to these recommendations, users could have located other ISIS videos and channels that they would not otherwise have seen, “even if they did not know the correct identifier or if the original YouTube account had been replaced “.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act Shields sites such as YouTube from any responsibility for third-party content (in this case, individual channels). Back when the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois sued Craigslist for allowing users to post “erotic” or “adult” content (which the sheriff claimed facilitated prostitution), article 230 protected the site from any legal liability. Section 230 likewise stop AOL to be held responsible for hosting a defamatory website criticizing Matt Drudge. That said, the Ninth Circuit said in June 2021 that the United States should reconsider “whether social media companies should continue to enjoy broad immunity for the third-party content they post.” It revived Gonzalez et al versus Google and a few other cases accusing Google, Twitter and Facebook of aiding and abetting terrorist organizations.

The Supreme Court has historically denied Section 230 cases. But Justice Clarence Thomas criticized that stance earlier this year, echoing the Ninth Circuit’s sentiment about revisiting social media immunity. Now the Supreme Court is taking on Gonzalez’s family case, along with a similar case Case involving Twitter and an “act of international terrorism”.

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