[330] Section 230

Completion Date: 29 May 2020
Medium: Paint on Acid-free mountboard
Dimensions: 16 x 20 inches

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 is a piece of US Internet legislation that provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an “interactive computer service” (e.g. Twitter or Facebook) who publish information provided by third-party users:

“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.”

In late May 2020, US President Trump signed an executive order aimed at removing some of the legal protections (including Section 230) given to social media platforms.

He said the firms had “unchecked power” to censure and edit the views of users. President Trump has regularly accused platforms such as Twitter and Facebook of stifling conservative voices. The order came after Twitter decided to append fact-check labels to two of his tweets.

Trump accused the company of election interference after it added a warning label to the tweets about claims of widespread fraud in mail-in voting – also known as postal votes. Twitter and other social media platforms strongly condemned the executive order.