Four ways the Supreme Court will shape the web

Scenario 1: One or both cases are dismissed or reversed.

Many judges expressed confusion about what exactly it is Gonzalez The case was being argued and how the case reached the Supreme Court. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have been criticized for presenting weak arguments, and there is speculation that the lawsuit may be dismissed. This means the Supreme Court will rule out Section 230 altogether and send a clear signal that Congress must deal with it. There is also a chance Your miracle The case can be returned to the lower court.

Scenario 2: Google wins GonzalezBut the way section 230 is interpreted will change.

When the Supreme Court gives a verdict, it also gives comments on the verdict. These opinions provide legal reasons that change how lower courts interpret the decision and the statute. So even if Google wins, it doesn’t mean that the court won’t write anything that changes the way section 230 is interpreted.

If the court does this, it could open up a whole new can of worms. For example, during the oral argument there was much discussion about “neutral algorithms”—examining the age-old myth that technology can be isolated from messy, complex societal issues. It’s not exactly clear what algorithmic neutrality is, and much has been written about the nature of AI being inherently neutral.

Scenario 3: The Your miracle His rule will be a serious killer.

Oral arguments at Your miracle It looked like he had a lot of teeth. The justices seemed to quickly grasp the basics of the case, and questions focused on how to interpret the anti-terrorism law. While the arguments did not mention Section 230, the results could still change how forums are held accountable for content moderation.

Arguments by Your miracle What Twitter is focused on He knew. Regarding how ISIS used the platform and whether the company’s actions (or lack of action) made it an ISIS recruit. If the court agrees with Mr. Tamneh, platforms may be incentivized to steer clear of potentially illegal content and thus claim immunity, making the Internet less safe. Twitter, on the other hand, has said it relies on government officials to notify the company about terrorist content, which raises other questions about free speech.

Scenario 4: Section 230 is repealed.

That seems unlikely right now, and if it does happen, it will cause chaos, at the very least, among technology executives. However, the bottom line is that it could push Congress to enact comprehensive legislation holding platforms accountable for the harm they cause.

(If you want more SCOTUS content, here’s some great work from Michael Kannan, who was the first chair of artificial intelligence for the US Air Force. Danielle Lemon(Among many in the audience, a UVA law professor.)

What else am I reading this week?

  • The European Union has banned TikTok from its employees’ devices. This is the latest government crackdown on the Chinese social media app. Many U.S. states have banned the app from use among government employees (which the FBI said was linked to Chinese Communist Party spying and operations), and the Biden administration issued a temporary ban on the federal tools in December.
  • This great story by Wauhini Vara at Wired is about the massive impact technology has on our lives and economy, even as we try to escape them. Vara details how not to buy anything, the movement of people trying to limit their consumption by exchanging free stuff, the movement of people leaving Facebook to open their own apps, and the problems that ensued.
  • Biden made a surprise trip to Kiev on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I recommend reading this very entertaining press pool report from The Wall Street Journal’s Sabrina Siddiqui, which details the preparation of the mystery trip.

What I learned this week

Young people seem to believe what political influencers say. Social media influencers can be a “powerful resource for political campaigns,” according to a new study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University’s Media Effects Research Lab. Because trust among their followers translates into political messaging.

The study included a survey of nearly 400 American university students. Political messages from influencers have been found to have a meaningful effect on their followers’ political opinions, particularly if they are perceived as trustworthy, knowledgeable, or attractive.

Local and local influencers are becoming a bigger part of political campaigns. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, it’s still a concern: Other researchers have suggested that people are particularly vulnerable to misinformation from influencers.

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