Mississippi Center for Public Policy has joined a diverse coalition in publishing a set of seven principles to guide conversation about amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

The coalition includes civil society organizations, academics, and other Internet law experts.

In its current form, the law holds those who create content online responsible for the content they create, while protecting online intermediaries from liability for content generated by third parties, except in specific circumstances.

Maintaining that fundamental arrangement is vital. As the principles statement declares: “We value the balance between freely exchanging ideas, fostering innovation, and limiting harmful speech. Because this is an exceptionally delicate balance, Section 230 reform poses a substantial risk of failing to address policymakers’ concerns and harming the Internet overall.”

As civil society organizations, academics, and other experts who study the regulation of user- generated content, we value the balance between freely exchanging ideas, fostering innovation, and limiting harmful speech.

The seven principles are:

  1. Content creators bear primary responsibility for their speech and actions.
  2. Any new intermediary liability law must not target constitutionally protected speech.
  3. The law shouldn’t discourage Internet services from moderating content.
  4. Section 230 does not, and should not, require “neutrality.”
  5. We need a uniform national legal standard.
  6. We must continue to promote innovation on the Internet.
  7. Section 230 should apply equally across a broad spectrum of online services.

Read the full letter here.