House Commerce Committee Democrats Announce Legislation to Reform Section 230

House Energy and Commerce Committee Representatives introduced new legislation to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields websites and online platforms from being held liable for third-party content. Senior Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) announced the bill. The Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act, would amend Section 230 to remove absolute immunity in certain instances. Specifically, the bill would lift the Section 230 liability shield when an online platform knowingly or recklessly uses an algorithm or other technology to recommend content that materially contributes to physical or severe emotional injury. The bill will be introduced in the House on October 15. While the bill targets malicious algorithms, it does not apply to search features or algorithms that do not rely on personalization. It would also not apply to internet infrastructure such as web hosting or data storage and transfer, or to small online platforms with fewer than five million unique monthly visitors or users.

Eshoo and E&C Leaders Announce Legislation to Reform Section 230