Monday, January 15, 2018

Language concerning downstream liability and Section 230 under FOSTA and SESTA seems tempered, sometimes angering trafficking victims' adovcates

The Washington Examiner Jan  16 issue has an important article about FOSTA and SESTA on p, 8 by Melissa Quinn, “Victims groups and privacy advocates cry foul over online sex trafficking legislation; Despite bipartisan support, opponents are still concerned bout legal limits and online privacy.”

So far the article is not available online.

Tech companies have become more supportive since November as language has narrowed their exposure to downstream liability in Section 230 exceptions to wanton reckless disregard or actual knowledge legal standards.

But some sex trafficking victims’ groups probably believe user content should stop if that is what it takes to stop trafficking.  Ungated speech is not necessarily a constitutional right. So some fear that tech companies will remove speech that even remotely suggests a possible sex transaction.

Tech Liberation has an article from Dec. 2017 by Jennifer Heddleston Skees that notes that platforms will not be pursued just because of “deeper pockets” and would have to be complicit in actual crimes.  But for very large sites, like Google’s there still could be a statistical expectation of problems.
See also COPA blog article Jan. 9.

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