Law and laws can be very frustrating. Oftentimes, a particular law seems to be at cross-purposes with its intended goals. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is among the more frustrating technology laws. Enacted in 1996 during the early days of the Internet's life as a global communication platform, most of the CDA was designed to regulate offensive content on the Internet and was quickly struck down by the courts for violating free speech rights. Section 230, however, survived. The law says that no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. Finding a balance between competing personal and societal goals is difficult under the best of circumstances and even more so in a dynamic technical environment.
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