(WASHINGTON)— PEN America today applauded the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twitter v. Taamneh and Gonzalez v. Google. The two cases were heard earlier this year and center on questions about liability for internet platforms and services that handle user-generated content.

Liz Woolery, PEN America’s digital policy lead, said: “The Supreme Court got it right today, issuing twin decisions that protect the right to free expression on the internet. As the Court acknowledged in Taamneh, to find that an internet platform has aided and abetted a terrorist simply by providing a platform through which users can speak would be unprecedented.”

The Supreme Court sidestepped specific questions about Section 230 and instead focused on assessing whether Twitter had “knowingly and substantially” supported ISIS’ 2017 attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. The Court held that Twitter had not done so and further, that the questions in Gonzalez were so similar as to be resolved by Taamneh.

Woolery said:“The internet is the most important place for the exchange of views and the decisions today reinforce our freedom to engage in those critical discussions. As such, we are pleased the outcome of today’s cases protects free expression interests in the digital realm.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. To learn more visit PEN.org 

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057