Section 230 has been called the law that created Internet as we know it. It accomplished this through a simple premise: You are responsible for what you say or do online and the platform that hosts your content is not. This shield against intermediary liability has allowed countless online services, from the biggest names in Silicon Valley to the website currently being invented in an entrepreneur’s garage, to grow and operate on a global scale. Nascent companies deserve the same playing field that today’s industry leaders enjoyed in their early days. Without fear of being held liable for the enormous volume of content generated by their users, a new generation of platforms—perhaps with content moderation more to the liking of critics on both the left and the right—can come into being. If Section 230 were to be repealed, or even watered down, this next generation of platform will likely be thwarted by liability threats. “Big tech” firms have the resources to comply with new mandates and regulations, so erecting this barrier to entry to nascent firms will artificially lock currently dominant firms in their lead positions.

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