IBM proposes reducing immunity protections for Google

International Business Machines Corp. on Wednesday threw its support behind enacting a new policy to limit liability protections enjoyed by internet platforms such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Ryan Hagemann, an IBM government and regulatory affairs technology policy executive, said in a blog post that internet companies shouldn’t automatically have legal protection for what third parties post on their platforms. Instead, their liability exemption — part of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — should be based on the condition they take action to curb harmful uses of their services, he said.

“A measure designed nearly a quarter-century ago to foster an infant internet needs to keep pace with the enormous social, economic, and even political power that the online world today commands,” Hagemann wrote.

The comments from IBM add an industry voice to a growing list of advocates and lawmakers in Washington who support paring back the legal exemption for tech companies struggling to curb the proliferation of fake content, hate speech and election meddling on their platforms.

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