The liability limit that created the modern online economy

A tribute to Section 230: “No other sentence in the U.S. Code, I would assert, has been responsible for the creation of more value than that one; if you have other candidates for that honor you think more worthy, please do share them.” — David Post on the fateful, intermediary-immunizing “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This bar to liability, Post writes, helped make possible “virtually every successful online venture that emerged after 1996 — including all the usual suspects, viz. Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Craigslist, YouTube, Instagram, eBay, Amazon.”


  • This comment courtesy of Section 230.

  • I believe you. That section set a positive fire burning and a new fantastic world was born. Things will never be the same again.

  • The author has it exactly right – it was a tremendous bit of foresight to include that provision in the Act. Seems to me that without it, court might have relied on precedent applicable to traditional media like newspapers, which have absolute control over what gets published.

  • Should this apply to Ross Ulbricht, now serving a life sentence for his role in establishing and running Silk Road, a marketplace for drugs and other illicit goods and services? Or is it only about words?