Brief of Center for Democracy and Technology and 6 Technologies as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent

17 Feb 2023

CHAI’s Jonathan Stray joined with Brandie Nonnecke from Berkeley’s CITRIS Policy lab, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and other scholars to file a brief for the Supreme Court in an upcoming case called “Gonzalez vs. Google” that asks whether “targeted recommendations” should be protected under the same law that protects the “publishing” of third party content. This law, called CDA Section 230, protects virtually all major apps and platforms that provide access to other people’s information — from search engines to music streaming to social media. CHAI is of course very concerned with the personal and societal effects of recommender systems; however, we believe that creating a legal distinction around the type of algorithm used will only disincentivize innovative new algorithms for selecting content — exactly the type of safe and beneficial algorithms that we wish to create. Instead, we argued that platforms should be liable based on whether they contributed to harmful effects, not on what type of algorithm they use.