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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The News Media Alliance, a trade group which represents thousands of U.S. newspapers, plans to propose limits to a rule that, to-date, has helped Big Tech companies dodge responsibility for the content people upload to their platforms.

The big picture: The 24-year-old provision, Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, allows tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to host user-generated content on their platforms without being liable for what it contains.

  • The rule has paved the way for the modern internet economy, but has also been blamed for giving tech companies little incentive to police nefarious content or false information on their platforms.

According to a written testimony provided to Axios, NMA will tell parties on Wednesday at the Justice Department's upcoming workshop on Section 230 that policymakers should limit the safe harbor exemption within the law that protects tech platforms from being sued for the content that other people post on its site.

  • "[W]e should start by limiting the exemption for just the very largest companies who both derive the most benefits from Section 230 and have the greatest capacities to take legal responsibility for their commercial decisions around content and reach," the testimony says.
  • NMA CEO David Chavern will be testifying.

The big picture: U.S. Attorney General William Barr said last month that the DOJ was looking into the law because “many are concerned that Section 230 immunity has been extended far beyond what Congress originally intended,” per Reuters.

Go deeper: National newspapers thrive while local outlets struggle to survive

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.

51 mins ago - Technology

Exclusive: Facebook's blackout didn't dent political ad reach

Photo: Valera Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Americans saw more political ads on Facebook in the week before the 2020 election than they did the prior week despite the company's blackout on new political ads during that period, according to Global Witness, a human rights group that espouses tech regulation.

Why it matters: The presidential election was a key stress test for Facebook and other leading online platforms looking to prove that they can curb misinformation. Critics contend measures like the ad blackout barely made a dent.

Wall Street wonders how bad it has to get

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wall Street is working out how bad the economy will have to get for Congress to feel motivated to move on economic support.

Why it matters: A pre-Thanksgiving data dump showed more evidence of a floundering economic recovery. But the slow drip of crumbling economic data may not be enough to push Washington past a gridlock to halt the economic backslide.