The Supreme Court says Twitter and Google aren’t legally liable for terrorists using their platforms.
But the court didn’t weigh in on Section 230, a legal protection that Trump has raged against.
The ruling — which punts a ruling on the larger Section 230 fight — marks a win for Big Tech.
The Supreme Court sided with Twitter and Google on Thursday, saying the tech giants aren’t liable for terrorists using their platforms.
But, the decisions — penned by conservative justices on the court — stayed out of the ongoing battle over Section 230, handing Big Tech a win and leaving intact the legal protections that Donald Trump and other lawmakers have raged against.
The court’s decisions came in two separate lawsuits filed by families of terrorist attack victims. The families argued that Google and Twitter should be held responsible for ISIS terrorist attacks because ISIS members used their platforms, according to The Hill.
Part of Google’s defense was that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 shields the company against the plaintiffs’ claims, The Hill reported.
Section 230 protects social media and tech companies, saying they aren’t responsible for the content their users post.
The law also allows companies to moderate content as they see fit — which Trump and other conservatives have argued gives Big Tech too much power to censor conservative opinions, Insider previously reported.
Democrats like President Joe Biden also want to change Section 230 — but for very different reasons. Biden has said the law doesn’t do enough to combat hate speech.
But the Supreme Court decided not to dip its toes into the debate, arguing the law’s protections don’t even need to apply in this case because the families didn’t prove Google or Twitter helped spark the deadly attacks on their loved ones.
The decision in the Twitter case was unanimous, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing, “It might be that bad actors like ISIS are able to use platforms like defendants’ for illegal – and sometimes terrible – ends. But the same could be said of cell phones, email, or the internet generally.”
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