The Little Law That Made the Internet a Free for All

In 1996, when the internet was still unexplored territory for most Americans, the U.S. Congress passed a telecommunications law that included a provision its supporters meant to protect free speech online. Almost 25 years later, that provision, known as Section 230, is seen as crucial to the business models of some of the world’s most valuable companies including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google — and as a key factor in the ever-deepening swamp of harassment, toxic behavior and misinfor