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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

In the aftermath of a string of highly publicized violent attacks motivated by far-right extremism, the public spotlight has swung its harsh light over tech companies—particularly social media platforms—for hosting extremism and allegedly facilitating radicalization online. With commentators across the political spectrum searching for solutions to a growing problem, the rumbling discourse has inevitably pivoted toward those platforms, with some suggesting that they should be liable for the content they host. Federal terrorism law and § 230 of the Communications Decency Act pose seemingly insurmountable hurdles to this end, but both recent congressional challenges to the CDA and increasingly creative legal arguments against it may eliminate it as a barrier. This Note argues that although radicalization on the Internet poses grave safety concerns, the law may find compromise without eroding the CDA. This Note first analyzes the massive ramifications of imposing liability on the Internet writ large, then proposes intermediate solutions via amending federal terrorism law that will do the least harm to the Internet ecosystem while attempting to solve a growing problem of violence.

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