Feb 13, 2023

As Section 230 Court Cases Loom on the Horizon, Hany Farid Addresses Possible Ramifications

From MIT Technology Review

The Supreme Court may overhaul how you live online

By Tate Ryan-Mosley

Recommendation algorithms sort most of what we see online and determine how posts, news articles, and accounts you follow are prioritized on digital platforms...

Now they’re at the center of a landmark legal case that ultimately has the power to completely change how we live online. On February 21, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Gonzalez v. Google, which deals with allegations that Google violated the Anti-Terrorism Act when YouTube’s recommendations promoted ISIS content. It’s the first time the court will consider a legal provision called Section 230...

“We’re all looking at the technology landscape, particularly the internet, and being like, ‘This is not great,’” Hany Farid, a professor of engineering and information at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. “It’s not great for us as individuals. It’s not great for societies. It’s not great for democracies.” 

In studying the online proliferation of child sexual abuse material, covid misinformation, and terrorist content, Farid has seen how content recommendation algorithms can leave users vulnerable to really destructive material. 

Read the full article.

Hany Farid is professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and Departement of EECS. 

Last updated:

February 16, 2023