APP Press - Legislation

House Republicans Seek to Hold Online Platforms Accountable for Spreading Illegal Content

March 25, 2021

This week, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the “Stop Shielding Culpable Platforms Act,” a bill which would clarify that Section 230 immunity does not protect online platforms for knowingly hosting and spreading illegal content, such as material depicting the sexual exploitation of children.

American Principles Project (APP) has been urging Congress to protect children online by reforming Section 230 and released a blueprint last year on how to do so: “Protecting Free Speech and Defending Kids: A Proposal to Amend Section 230.”

In response to the legislation, APP’s president Terry Schilling released the following statement endorsing the bill:

“The federal government shouldn’t be preventing victims of sexual exploitation from suing their exploiters. But under Section 230, online platforms that knowingly allow illicit content or engage in illegal activity are granted immunity from civil liability. This is a terrible wrong that must be corrected.

“We applaud RSC Chairman Banks for taking the lead on this important issue. Any Section 230 reform passed into law should include language that would give victims of sexual exploitation the right to their day in court.”

To schedule an interview with an APP policy expert, contact Paul Dupont at (o) 202-503-2010 or pdupont@americanprinciplesproject.org.

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