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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Here’s the Truth About Section 230

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There’s no way the lawmakers who drafted Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act way back in 1996 could have known that it would go on to determine the role user-generated content would play in the explosive growth of the internet. Those Congressmen probably also wouldn’t have guessed that Section 230 would end up, 25 years later, becoming a central sticking point in the debate over free speech online. The complex history of CDA 230 is as full of as many twists and turns as there are differing interpretations of what the law actually says.

On this episode of Gadget Lab, WIRED senior politics reporter Gilad Edelman joins us yet again to talk about the particulars of Section 230. He’s the author of this month’s WIRED cover story on this very topic. We also talk about the Facebook Oversight Committee’s ruling about the company’s decision to temporarily ban president Trump from the platform.

Show Notes

Read Gilad’s cover story about Section 230 here. Read his story about the Facebook Oversight Committee’s decision here. Trump’s DIY Twitter feed is a thing that exists. Watch the video of Aeropress inventor Alan Adler here.


Gilad recommends Aeropress. Mike recommends the Shop app. Lauren recommends the podcast How to Save a Planet.

Gilad Edelman can be found on Twitter @GiladEdelman. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

How to Listen

You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Podcasts app just by tapping here. We’re on Spotify too. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.

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