This article draws from surveys about the experiences of users with Yik Yak and other anonymous social media platforms to consider how digital intermediaries encourage civility and minimize hateful speech in their communities—given the protections from liability that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) affords them. It then turns to debates over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by congressional and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) leadership from 2017 and 2021. In so doing, it considers how hoped-for changes from both the Republican and Democratic parties may conflict with the First Amendment in their proposals to reform Section 230. The article argues that human content moderation is particularly important to maintain as part of the regulatory process on digital platforms given (1) the disconnected discourse emanating from the left and the right about what kind of online expression is problematic, and (2) the parallel disconnected discourse among users of anonymous platforms where online expression wields the least amount of individual accountability.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas