Social media companies might have to make significant changes to their platforms, depending on the outcomes of two Supreme Court cases.


This week, the justices hear arguments in two cases that involve a federal law referred to as Section 230, which protects social media platforms from being held liable for the content users post.


The high court heard arguments in Gonzalez v. Google LLC on Tuesday and will hear Twitter Inc. v. Taamneh on Wednesday. The rulings in these cases, expected sometime this summer, could affect how social media platforms operate.


Under Section 230, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are shielded from standards that, for example, newspapers are held to. While a news outlet can be sued for knowingly publishing false information, the same strict standards don’t apply to social media sites, due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.


But some argue that tech platforms should be held accountable for false or dangerous information shared on the platforms. The two cases being brought before the Supreme Court this week “should be a very interesting debate, and it may not be one that divides cleanly along ideological lines, like we typically think of them, between the conservative and more liberal justices,” says Zack Smith, manager of the Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Program in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)


Smith, who is also co-host of the “SCOTUS 101” podcast, joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss how social media platforms could be affected by the cases being argued at the Supreme Court this week.


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