“No longer are tech companies the underdog upstarts. They have become titans,” Barr said at a public meeting held by the Justice Department to examine the future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
“Given this changing technological landscape, valid questions have been raised about whether Section 230’s broad immunity is necessary at least in its current form,” he said.
Section 230 says online companies such as Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc’s Google and Twitter Inc cannot be treated as the publisher or speaker of information they provide. This largely exempts them from liability involving content posted by users, although they can be held liable for content that violates criminal or intellectual property law.
Barr’s comments offered insight into how regulators in Washington are reconsidering the need for incentives that once helped online companies grow but are increasingly viewed as impediments to curbing online crime, hate speech and extremism.
Many taxpayer supported school districts, including Madison, use Google and Facebook services.