January 23, 2022

New Issue Brief from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL): “Section 230 of Communications Decency Act: Research Libraries Perspectives”

From ARL:

The 117th US Congress is holding hearings and debating bills on changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that protects internet service providers and internet users from liability for content shared by third parties, and for content moderation practices. During the 2021 ARL Spring Association Meeting, ARL member representatives and guests discussed ways that research libraries rely on the current law to provide internet access and host digital repositories of scholarly articles. Members concluded that they successfully rely on their own institutional content-moderation practices and policies, and that no change to the law is needed. The discussion group also determined that requiring political neutrality, as some legislators have proposed, is antithetical to library values, and would be difficult to implement.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released this Issue Brief: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: Research Library Perspectives that provides background on Section 230 and implications for libraries of the potential changes to the law, as well as a summary of the discussion held during the Spring Association Meeting. Through the discussion several ideas surfaced on how university and library policies connect to Section 230. A few illustrative examples from UC San Diego are included in the discussion summary.

Direct to Full Text: Issue Brief: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: Research Library Perspectives
18 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.