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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

In passing the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), Congress sought to promote and protect the ever-evolving free market of voices and ideas available on the internet. In order to reach this end, section 230(c) of the CDA extends protection from liability to those who provide a means for disseminating speech on the web, dubbed by the statute as “interactive computer service providers” (ICSP). Section 230 protects ICSPs from liability for harm inflicted by content created and posted by third parties on their respective forums. This Article focuses on a 2015 Washington State Supreme Court decision, J.S. v. Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC., which raised the troubling prospect that content requirements prohibiting illegal or immoral activities, could potentially remove an ICSP from Section 230’s immunity in the state of Washington.

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