Google thinks so.
The search giant claims that the Reynaldo Gonzales v. Google case before the Supreme Court—a case that could make big platforms liable for what users post—will upend the internet.
Case in point: Reynaldo Gonzales’s case accuses Google of being complicit in the death of his daughter by allowing the terrorist organization ISIS to host recruitment videos on YouTube.
If Reynaldo wins, the case could dismantle the “liability shield” protecting the likes of Google from lawsuits, which was enacted by Congress as Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act.
Dystopian, or nah? Google says that losing 230 would create a “dystopia” where providers will be under legal pressure to censor any kind of controversial content.
Google also argues that people would be able to hold users liable for even liking or sharing articles.
According to the search giant, it’s impossible to distinguish between recommendation algorithms and the algorithms that let search engines and other ranking systems work online.
Why we care: If Google is this vocal about a particular lawsuit, it’s probably pretty big.
The company seems genuinely worried about the consequences of losing what they call the “backbone of the internet.”
The first oral arguments are set for February 21. Let’s see what happens.