Because of Section 230, bloggers and other independent content creators can moderate their own comment sections as they see fit, even if that means deleting content that’s allowable elsewhere or vice versa. Big companies like Twitter can set their own moderation rules, too, as well as provide users with customizable filtering tools. Meanwhile, blogging platforms, domain name providers, and web hosting companies needn’t worry that all of this puts them at risk.
Without Section 230, all sorts of behind-the-scenes web publishing and speech dissemination tools would be in legal jeopardy. Twitter could lose the many recent lawsuits from former users challenging their respective suspensions in court. And online communities large and small could lose the right to discriminate against disruptive, prurient, or “otherwise objectionable” content.
Without Section 230, companies would thus be more likely to simply delete all user-flagged content, whether the report has merit or not, or at least immediately hide reported content as a review proceeds. It’s easy to imagine massive backlogs of challenged content, much of it flagged strategically by bad actors for reasons having nothing to do with either safety or veracity. Silencing one’s opponents would be easy.