23 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 80.
The internet enables people worldwide to communicate with unprecedented efficiency. It has provided a revolutionary change in how people and businesses exchange information. A person can talk with their friends across the globe through messaging apps such as Snapchat or Facebook. Universities can make their lectures available to students worldwide through platforms like YouTube. People can share their talents and experiences through the internet so that others can view and even comment on them. However, the birth of the internet also created new challenges in the legal world, such as the spread of obscene and pornographic materials, increased rights of privacy violations, and false information, such as rampant rumors and fake news.
Attempting to facilitate the promising but uncertain future of the internet, Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA 230”). Congress intended to preserve the competitive free market of the internet and keep the platform unfettered by government regulations. At the same time, Congress also wanted to ensure that blocking and filtering tools would be available to parents to restrict child access to inappropriate materials on the internet. The provisions of CDA 230 reflect Congress’s intention to achieve a balance between promoting screening services and limiting child access to particular materials.