Supreme Court to hear arguments about internet liability law

The incident has the potential to shape the future of the Internet.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is considering the first case of a federal law that allegedly helped create the modern Internet by protecting Google, Twitter, Facebook and other companies from lawsuits over content filed by the United States. others post on their website.

Judges are hearing arguments Tuesday over whether the family of an American college student killed in the Paris terror attacks can sue Google for helping extremists spread its message them and attract new recruits or not.

The lawsuit is the court’s first look at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed early in the internet age, in 1996, to protect companies from being sued for information that they don’t know. their users post online.

Lower courts have broadly interpreted the law to protect an industry that companies and their allies say fueled the rapid growth of the internet and encouraged the removal of harmful content.

But critics argue that companies aren’t doing nearly enough, and that the law shouldn’t prevent lawsuits over computer-generated recommendations that direct viewers to more content they’re interested in. and keep them online longer.

Any narrowing of their immunity can have serious consequences that can affect every corner of the internet as websites use algorithms to sort and filter a mountain of data.

“Suggestion algorithms are what make it possible for us to find the needles in the greatest haystack of mankind,” the Google lawyers wrote in the Supreme Court’s main summary.

In response, attorneys for the victim’s family questioned the prediction of dire consequences. “On the other hand, it cannot be denied that materials advertised on social media sites have in fact caused serious harm,” the lawyers wrote.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Nohemi Gonzalez, a 23-year-old senior at Cal State Long Beach who was spending a semester in Paris studying industrial design. She was killed by Islamic State fighters in a series of attacks that left 130 people dead in November 2015.

The Gonzalez family alleges that Google-owned YouTube supported and abetted the Islamic State group by presenting its videos to viewers most likely to be interested in them, in violation of the Anti-Islamic State Act. federal terrorism.

The lower court sided with Google.

A related case, up for debate on Wednesday, involves a terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub in 2017 that left 39 people dead and led to a lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook and Google. .

Separate challenges to social media laws enacted by Republicans in Florida and Texas are pending in high court, but they will not be contested before the fall and decisions are likely to be made. offered until the first half of 2024. Supreme Court to hear arguments about internet liability law

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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