May 26, 2023

1. Section 230 remains untouched

The big picture: The Supreme Court left intact Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – a liability shield for internet companies over third-party content – and punted the issue back to Congress.

What’s happening: Referred to as “the internet’s most important law,” Section 230 has faced scrutiny in connection to tech companies’ content moderation decisions.

  • Section 230 was written 25 years ago in the internet’s infancy. Opponents argue that it is outdated. Defenders say it has allowed the internet to thrive, and believe that the way it is written enables innovation and protects free speech.

  • The cases, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, challenged whether tech companies should be held liable for terrorism-related material posted on their platforms. 

  • Last week, the court dismissed the case and declined to take up questions on it, leaving intact a lower court ruling in Google’s favor.

Why it matters: Section 230 has shaped the internet as we know it. Greater reform may lead to deeper regulation of posted content and interaction with other internet users.

What comes next: The court is still deciding whether to hear cases challenging social media content moderation laws in Texas and Florida.

2. What’s trending?

  • Time-strapped journalists are increasingly looking for data and expert sources to inform their reporting. A recent Cision report found that 68% want to see original research and trend data in pitches. (Axios)

  • The number of news and information websites generated by AI – and operating with little to no human oversight – more than doubled in just two weeks. In a special report, Newsguard identified 125 websites that are entirely or mostly generated by AI tools. (The New York Times)

  • Elon Musk has been dubbed the new “king of conservative media,” and is positioning Twitter as the center of gravity for Republicans ahead of the 2024 election. High-profile, right-wing personalities, including fired Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have said they will bring content exclusively to the platform. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his presidential bid this week in a Twitter Spaces chat, but the event was derailed by technical glitches. (CNN)

  • Dotdash Meredith, one of the largest internet publishers in the country, is debuting a new ad tool, D/Cipher, that doesn’t rely on internet tracking cookies or first-party data. Advertisers can target users on any of Dotdash Meredith’s digital platforms based on intent and interests with which the user is likely to engage. (Axios)

3. Journalist moves

Business [Reporting on business from newspapers, magazines and online sources]

  • Naomi Shavin – senior podcast producer, Bloomberg News; previous: producer, Axios (Cision)
  • Kalley Huang – reporter, The Information; previous: reporting fellow, New York Times (Cision
  • John Schafer – markets reporter, Yahoo Finance; promotion (Cision
  • Elisabeth Buchwald – economy explainer reporter, CNN; previously: personal finance reporter, USA Today (Cision)
  • Jonathan Tully – digital content editor, Human Resource Executive; editor, Mashable (Cision
  • Megan Leonhardt – senior economics writer, Barron’s; writer, Fortune (Twitter
  • Chelsea Emery – executive editor, Staffing Industry Analysts; promotion (Cision)

Technology [Covering startups, advanced technologies and the intersection of tech/business]

  • Michelle Ma, reporter, clean tech, Bloomberg; previous, freelance (Talking Biz News
  • Brian Kahn – editor, climate tech, Bloomberg; previous: climate editor, Protocol (Talking Biz News

More Moves of Interest [Additional updates from notable journalists + editors]

  • Sam Jacobs – editor-in-chief, TIME; promotion (Cision)
  • Adam Levy – executive producer + news editor,  BBC News; previous, show runner, CNN+ (Cision)
  • Mary Bruce – White House correspondent, ABC News; promotion (Muck Rack)
  • Lauren N. Williams – deputy editor, race + equity, The Guardian; previous: senior editor, The Atlantic (Talking Biz News
  • David Gelles – managing correspondent, Climate Forward Newsletter, The New York Times; promotion (The New York Times)

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