How Supreme Court ruling on Section 230 could affect Reddit

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The landmark cases involving social media companies and online platforms may have an impact on Reddit as well as the biggest players in technology such as Meta, Google, Twitter, and YouTube.

The case is expected to put the Supreme Court’s views on two competing claims: that the companies either do too much or too little content moderation. It will also determine whether individual site users are suddenly subject to routine content moderation.

This is due to the fact that many sites rely on users for community moderation to edit, shape, remove, and promote other users’ content online, and this is where Reddit may have a problem, with its Reddit’s upvote.

Sites that rely on community moderation, such as Reddit and Wikipedia, will be impacted wherever the case goes. This is why Reddit’s lawyers argued in Gonzalez v. Google, the case that will reexamine the application of Section 230, that its signature upvote/downvote feature is in jeopardy.

Users “directly determine what content is promoted or becomes less visible by using Reddit’s innovative ‘upvote’ and ‘downvote’ features,” according to the brief. “All of those activities are protected by Section 230, which Congress crafted to protect Internet’users’ rather than just platforms.”

To be safe, Reddit is questioning where user preferences fit into the interpretation of “recommendation,” either directly or indirectly.

“The danger is that you and I, when we use the internet, we do a lot of things that are short of actually creating the content,” says Ben Lee, Reddit’s general counsel. “We’re seeing other people’s content, and then we’re interacting with it. At what point are we ourselves, because of what we did, recommending that content?”

The sources for this piece include an article in Technologyreview.

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