- 1440 Daily Digest
Gonzalez v. Google
The Supreme Court is hearing two cases this week that could redefine the rules of online speech and content moderation. The two cases deal with how social media companies have handled terrorist content and argue the companies should be held responsible for their algorithms.
At the heart of Gonzalez v. Google is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—regulations that treat internet companies as publishing intermediaries, meaning they are not liable for content others post (see background). The case argues Google violated US antiterrorism law when YouTube’s algorithms featured ISIS content as recommended videos. If the court rules against Google, it could force tech platforms to fundamentally change their ranking algorithms or engage in aggressive content moderation.
The other case, Twitter v. Taamneh, argues Google, Twitter, and Facebook violated US antiterrorism law by knowingly enabling ISIS to maintain some of their content on their platforms, despite company policies to limit it.
A ruling in the cases is expected this summer.