The Possible Redundancy of §230

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Both fans and foes of Zeran v. America Online, Inc. (4th Cir. 1997) assume that its interpretation of §230 changed the scope of liability for ISPs under the common law republication rule. Many commentators believe Zeran “saved the internet” by enabling ISPs to permit unfiltered speech. But others argue Zeran misinterpreted §230, which was intended to encourage ISPs to filter speech. I think Zeran reached the right result, whatever Congress intended §230 to accomplish, because AOL wasn’t liable under the common law rule, either.

Original languageAmerican English
Specialist publicationThe Recorder
StatePublished - Nov 10 2017


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