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Justices To Decide On Social Media Immunity In Terrorism Case

The Supreme Court will hear a case that will test the immunity social media companies have from lawsuits over content posted by users. It appears to be the court's first test of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a controversial provision that shields online platforms from lawsuits over moderation practices and user-posted content, Axios reports. Industry groups say Section 230 helps make it possible for website publishers and app services to use and moderate user-contributed content in ways that benefit their customers and society.


The case, Reynaldo Gonzalez, et al v. Google LLC, alleges YouTube aided and abetted the killing of a 23-year-old U.S. woman during 2015 ISIS attacks in Paris that killed 130 people and injured hundred more. Surviving family members of Nohemi Gonzalez allege Google "provided material support to ISIS" by allowing it to use YouTube "as a tool to commit terrorism." Google says the claims are barred under Section 230. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in 2020 that Section 230 should be narrowed, saying internet companies have been granted "sweeping protection" and that courts are reading more comprehensive immunity into Section 230 than was intended.

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