The following can be attributed to Christian Dawson, Executive Director of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition:
“While the President’s Executive Order ‘Preventing Online Censorship’ may be directed against ‘large, powerful social media companies’ to narrow the scope of the liability shield in Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, the Order’s broad regulatory directives would inflict massive collateral damage on the small businesses that power the Internet at the time America needs them to be at full strength to help our economy and citizens recover from the global pandemic.
“Section 230 has fueled the dramatic success of the Internet as an engine of economic growth, technological innovation, educational opportunity, social discourse and entertainment by allowing the Internet’s infrastructure to operate without the threat of crushing legal liability for what Internet users may or may not do. The Section 230 liability shield has allowed countless entrepreneurs to take the risk of starting new online businesses that have strengthened and diversified our digital infrastructure.
“Without these protections, America would not have the variety and multitude of small, medium, and large online platforms we enjoy today. The Internet infrastructure is interconnected with layers of operational and commercial interdependencies among platforms of different sizes. Top-level regulations would flow down to the smallest competitors.
“The rapid onslaught of the COVID-19 crisis has underscored the vital importance of maintaining the Internet’s resilience now and in the future. This Executive Order heads down a dangerous road of new regulations that will result in massive litigation, increase business costs, slow economic growth, and create uncertainty for entrepreneurs and innovators–all of which will weaken long-term Internet resilience.”Christian Dawson, Executive Director, i2Coalition