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Jeff Kosseff (left)  is an assistant professor of cybersecurity law at the United States Naval Academy. Eric Goldman (right) is a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law in the Silicon Valley.

Many factors contributed to the Internet’s growth over the past 25 years, but we’d like to highlight an underappreciated catalyst. In 1996, Congress enacted a law, 47 U.S.C. §230, to immunize websites from liability for third-party content. Section 230 is an “Internet exceptionalist” law; Congress made the liability rules for online content different from, and more favorable than, the rules for offline content.

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