Tech industry’s legal shield is feeling the heat

By Dan Levine and Kristina Cooke SAN FRANCISCO(Reuters) – When San Francisco passed an ordinance this year imposing fines on home rental companies for listings by hosts not registered with the city, Airbnb sued, saying the measure runs afoul of Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act. The case is the latest test of Section 230, a federal law that has been a trusty workhorse for the technology industry. By protecting website operators from liability for content posted by others, the 20-year-old statute helped pave the way for the explosion of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as online marketplaces, including Amazon and eBay.

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