• Understanding Section 230

    Legal Brief

    Understanding Section 230

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, over two decades old, is top-of-mind once again.

    In order to understand the current debate over limiting or repealing Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, it is necessary to take a brief detour back to high-school civics and the Constitution — specifically, the First Amendment. Among its provisions is the protection of free speech. A century ago, no less a figure than Oliver Wendell Holmes observed in a Supreme Court case that, although extremely important, the protection of the First Amendment was not without limit. As he put it, “the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing panic.”

    While the First Amendment is often cited as guaranteeing the right to free speech, it actually is much more limited than that.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.1.0 (2021-01-11).