section 230

section 230

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Social media companies are often accused of hosting harmful content, but it’s very hard to successfully sue them. A federal law known as Section 230 largely protects the platforms from legal responsibility for hate speech, slander and misinformation created by its users.

But a new lawsuit blaming TikTok for the deaths of two children is taking a different approach. Rather than accuse the company of failing to moderate content, the complaint claims TikTok is a dangerous and defective product.

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Photo by Sam Blake/ dot.LA

"Snapchat has given drug dealers an organic ecommerce platform," Amy Neville shouted into her megaphone.

Neville is one of dozens of parents who marched Friday to Snap's headquarters to protest the role they feel Snapchat played in the deaths of their children.

The protest was organized by a coalition of grassroots advocacy groups and parents who share a similar, sad story: Their kids had used social media apps including Snapchat and TikTok to connect with drug dealers, from whom they sought to purchase prescription pills like Oxycontin and Percocet. Instead, they unknowingly received fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid that killed them.

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai brushed off their platforms' role in the January Capitol insurrection, facing a congressional panel on Thursday.

It marked the tech giants' first appearance before Congress since hundreds of people fueled by social media messages stormed the building.

"The responsibility here lies with the people who took the actions to break the law and do the insurrection," Mark Zuckerberg told the Democratic-led House Energy and Commerce Committee via videoconference. "And the people who spread that content," he added. "Including the president."

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