To the editor,

Publisher Emeritus Gene Johnson’s About the Town column that appeared in the January 28, 2021 issue of the Star was measured and thoughtful in its treatment of issues facing the public at this critical time in our history, not the least of which was the January 6 insurrection which occurred at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

In reviewing the role that social media played in this incident, it was helpful to be reminded that social media companies are not liable for their online content but have their own rules and regulations.  This exception can allow for intentional misinformation to be reported and then repeated without being subject to the libel laws that govern mainstream media which includes our community newspapers.  As the author suggests, social media needs to decide whether their business model is to provide   consistently reliable information or not.  If not, Congress may need to step in and update Section 230 of U.S. Code Title 47 to address this situation.  With so many sensitive issues facing our country in 2021, reliable sources of news and civil discourse are needed to help us find common ground to move forward and govern.

Eileen Stitz

Cambridge

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