Congress’s focus on content moderation has distracted it from the larger problem
Google Global Head of Intellectual Property Policy Katherine Oyama listens during a hearing with the House Communications and Technology and House Commerce Subcommittees on Capitol Hill on Wednesday in Washington, DC. | Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images
What stays up on the internet, and what comes down? It’s a defining question of the age — and the subject of yesterday’s newsletter — and on Wednesday, it came to Congress.
The occasion was a hearing of the House Energy and Committee Commerce and its subcommittees on communications and technology and consumer protection and commerce. The intent was to “explore whether online companies are appropriately using the tools they have — including protections Congress granted in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — to foster a healthier Internet.”
Section 230, as my colleague Adi Robertson noted earlier this year, is “one of the internet’s most important and most misunderstood laws.” These days, members of Congress typically describe…