Free Market

Libertas Supports Protecting Free Expression Online

Often called the “26 words that created the internet,” Section 230 has offered legal certainty to online services for over 25 years. This certainty has allowed the internet of today to grow and thrive — giving us online services like YouTube, Reddit, and Truth Social, which freely host and share diverse ideas. 

However, the free expression we currently enjoy on the internet is at risk in today’s Supreme Court case, Gonzalez v. Google.

In this case, the Court will consider whether Section 230 will continue to protect online services from liability when they use algorithmic recommendation systems to curate useful third-party content to their users.

Without Section 230, websites will be forced to remove any content that might create legal liability to avoid crippling legal costs. While the state of content moderation is a hotly debated topic, overturning Section 230 would mean more, not less, takedowns for most content which challenges the mainstream political narrative.

Throwing out the existing Internet framework would leave Americans with less opportunity to work, play, learn, shop, create, and participate in the exchange of ideas online. 

That’s why Libertas Institute, along with 11 other liberty-minded organizations, filed an amicus brief in support of Google last month. In our brief we explain that Section 230’s robust protections are critical for a competitive online economy: 

“Exposing all platforms to liability would mainly hurt startups, which later may challenge today’s leaders.” To understand Section 230’s value to Americans, we can “look to Europe, which lacks Section 230 protections. Not one European platform leads the world. All the leading platforms are based in the United States—for now.” 

To protect free expression online, we urge the Court to find in favor of Google and Section 230.