The Empowerment of Marginalized Voices by Section 230 Preserved by the Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court declined to disrupt the framework through which Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act promotes access to knowledge and free speech through the Internet. Finding that the plaintiffs’ complaint appears insufficient to provide a basis for their substantive claims, the Court refrained from analyzing the possible application of Section 230’s online platform immunity provisions to such claims.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzalez vs. Google implicitly acknowledges the complexity of the issues and interests impacted by Section 230, including the need to preserve venues through which marginalized and vulnerable voices and perspectives can be heard,” said Lateef Mtima, Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice. “The Amicus brief filed by the Scholars of Civil Rights and Social Justice highlighted these concerns, in an effort to aid the Court in understanding the importance of Section 230 in protecting the Internet as a marketplace for diverse and non-traditional ideas, including intellectual property achievement by marginalized creators. The Court’s decision today preserves the status quo achieved by Section 230 in balancing access to knowledge and speech interests with the goal of protecting the public from harmful and malicious conduct on the Internet.”

The Supreme Court’s decision can be found here.



The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice works to promote social justice in the field of intellectual property law and practice, both domestically and globally. Advocating for core principles of socially equitable access, inclusion, and empowerment throughout the IP ecosystem, IIPSJ’s work ranges broadly and includes scholarly examination of IP law from a social justice perspective; advocacy for social justice cognizance in the shaping and implementation of IP legislation and policy; initiatives to increase the diversity of the IP bar; and programs which promote greater awareness and understanding of IP protection, particularly among historically and currently disadvantaged and underserved groups, to empower them to exploit intellectual property effectively.