Over the past few years, Section 230 has taken on an outsize role in the dialogue about the dominant role of digital platforms in public discourse. A number of legislative proposals have been put forward to reform it, some of which, in our view, have unacceptable unintended consequences. We are open to legislative proposals that ensure Section 230 creates the intended outcomes in the contemporary digital landscape and, in fact, have also put forward our own

Section 230 of the Communications Act protects the ability of internet users to engage with one another on a range of topics and interests, from writing reviews of restaurants and products to putting forward opinions on politics, religion, and other areas of civic engagement. Section 230 does this by providing immunity from liability as a “speaker” or “publisher” for providers or users of an “interactive computer service” who host and moderate information provided by third-party users. The law also shields platforms and websites from lawsuits over their good-faith content moderation practices. 

In an effort to advance the dialogue, Public Knowledge recently introduced “Section 230 Principles to Protect Free Expression Online” — a set of guardrails for legislative reform that incorporates feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. This scorecard assesses federal proposals for Section 230 reform once they have been introduced in the 117th Congress, have gained sponsorship or support from legislators in the relevant committee(s), and have shown momentum toward gaining broad support.  The scorecard demonstrates how Public Knowledge consistently evaluates every Section 230 reform proposal: reform proposals that rate poorly are unlikely to promote the public interest.

To download the full description of each principle, see here.

Demo Table

wdt_ID Bills Files TECH_CTR PGPub Number title filing_date assignee inventors
1 10.314.628 06/12/2002 3.600 2.147.483.647 Automated synchronous product pricing and advertising system 06/12/2002 FREENY CHARLES C
2 10.316.292 10/12/2002 3.600 2.147.483.647 Method and system for automatically adjusting a posted selling price 10/12/2002 FISHER ALAN S, ; KAPLAN SAMUEL JERROLD
3 10.385.068 10/03/2003 3.600 2.147.483.647 Optical report archiving 10/03/2003 CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER SHABOT M. MICHAEL, ; LOBUE MARK, ; DUNCAN RAYMOND
4 10.142.683 10/05/2002 3.600 2.147.483.647 Real-time promotion engine system and method 10/05/2002 AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL RELATED SERVICES COMPANY, INC ANTONUCCI DONNA A
5 10.450.778 18/06/2003 3.600 2.147.483.647 Information based indicia discount coupon 18/06/2003 GORDON ROY R, ; WILKERSON WAYNE A
6 10.631.181 31/07/2003 3.600 2.147.483.647 System and method for execution of customer-specific marketing, discounts, and promotions 31/07/2003 KOSER VINCENT R, ; MCGREGOR G. MARK, ; WERT KENT A
7 10.443.177 21/05/2003 3.600 2.147.483.647 Software tools and method for business planning 21/05/2003 HEYNS HERMAN R, ; REILLY STUART, ; SMYTHE STEWART, ; MCCARTHY BRIAN F
8 10.734.932 12/12/2003 3.700 2.147.483.647 Computer-aided learning system and method 12/12/2003 HO CHI FAI, ; TONG PETER P
9 10.331.389 30/12/2002 3.600 2.147.483.647 Determining graduated availability for meetings by individuals and groups 30/12/2002 INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION MULLER MICHAEL
10 10.676.297 30/09/2003 3.600 2.147.483.647 Method and system for analyzing a capital structure for a company 30/09/2003 JONES EMERSON P, ; HAKANOGLU EROL
Bills Files PGPub Number title filing_date assignee inventors