The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is legislation that prevents copyright owners from suing any online platform for copyright infringement related to the content that the platform’s users upload. Many online platforms, including user reviews and social media sites such as Yelp and Facebook, have survived a lot of infringement suits due to this law. If it were not for this legislation, these platforms would not have grown to the levels they are now. The worldwide web would be a different arena altogether.
Unfortunately, some politicians are proposing killing or rather, reforming the DMCA law. These politicians supported by other non-political proponents argue that section 230 poses dangers to children by exposing them to predators online and facilitates terror activities. They claim that it is high time these platforms are subjected to laws that regulate brick-and-mortar businesses.
Opponents counter-argue that these are the very reasons why section 230 exists. They defend their position arguing that this law enables online platforms to develop programs that protect children, enhance communication and restrict terrorist activities online. Opponents see it as a ploy to kill big tech companies that the proponents consider as “anti-conservative”. If the proponents succeed in this ploy, a lot of online sites would have to deal with numerous unnecessary suits that would see a lot of them close down. you can learn more about internet law at LawWalrus.com. You can also refer to https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200310/17205444076/dojs-latest-ideas-section-230-reform-dumber-than-even-i-expected.shtml to learn more about section 230 of Consumer Decency Act.
The consequences of killing this law in the USA would be dire considering the role this law plays at protecting online platforms. First and foremost, the platforms as they are have instituted measures that provide a safe environment for children. Children can view a variety of content without getting exposed to harmful content. Nothing in this law prevents law enforcers from bringing down any site and arresting owners of sites that expose children to harmful content. Reforming this law would give a lot of sites a free pedestal to upload any content whether harmful or not.
Secondly, the argument that the law kills competition is null and void. If online sites are denied the freedom to express themselves freely without the fear of lawsuits, it will deny a lot of people from accessing valuable information. There are a lot of sites that provide reviews, both positive and negative about consumer products giving these consumers knowledge about products they would never get anywhere else. If Congress kills this law, then they would end up restricting a lot of such sites and could potentially kill eCommerce. A majority of consumers rely on this information to make purchasing decisions online.
Last, but not least, the killing of this law could just end up exposing users to hackers more than they are already exposed to. As it is now, sites try their best to encrypt user information and make it difficult for would-be possible hackers from accessing personal user data. If congress reforms this law, sites could be forced to expose users and infringe on their privacy since there will be a need for transparency. This approach could weaken the encryption systems already in place.