GOP chairman says defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Wednesday she will be introducing a bill in January that aims to hold tech companies accountable for their terms of service and would limit the reach of the liability shield that protects tech companies over third-party content posted on their sites.

Schakowsky said the Online Consumer Protection Act she plans to introduce would require platforms disclose to consumers in “easily understood terms” policies regarding health misinformation, incitement of violence, election misinformation and wildlife trafficking.

If platforms fail to enforce these policies, then Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants tech companies a liability shield, would not protect them from liability related to these new obligations, she said.

Schakowsky announced she would be introducing the bill at a multinational summit on disinformation co-hosted by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

She underscored the need for such reform based on rampant election misinformation that spread across social media platforms around this year’s presidential election.

“Some conventional wisdom might suggest that platforms performed better in 2020, but only if compared to their absolutely dreadful performance in 2016 can anyone keep from laughing at this ridiculous assertion,” Schakowsky said.