Week in Review - 20/20, 2021 and 230

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Saturday, January 02, 2021 By Lucas Matney

Howdy, this is Week in Review. I missed you all last week over the holidays and I hope you all took some time to unplug if possible. The news has been (comparatively) light the last couple weeks as the movers and shakers have moved and shaked their way to their vacation homes — even though December as a whole felt like it played host to more news than usual.

If you're reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets here.

The Big Story

Can you put a genie back in the bottle? Probably not, but maybe lawyers can?

Something made clear by some of the information surrounding the recent Nashville bombing made clear to me that we are probably one conspiracy theory-driven mass casualty event away from a major political alignment behind Section 230 reforms. The Trump administration’s reactionary lambasts against 230 have been for all of the wrong reasons though they have forced Democrats to defend something they likely find problematic all the same.

With a Biden administration the pressure to defend 230 will likely die off for Dems even as the more Trumpy in the Republican congressional circles continue to echo Trump’s wishes and raise the issue. As McConnell floats a doomed repeal of 230 in Trump’s final days in power, it’s unlikely that we will see any near-term full dismantling of 230 that are wholly driven by the political right’s own conspiracy theories, but it’s ignorant to believe that 230 is in the clear.

Instead politicians will discuss a less hurried approach to reining in the reign of 230. Social media companies are facing some fundamental issues with talk of 230 reform that could do more damage to them than any antitrust action could. I can’t begin to dissect how this will all play out, but this will likely be a story that defines this year even without the President of the United States keeping it at the forefront of national conversation.

Read more

The Big Story image

Image Credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Trends of the Week

Flash is dead dead dead
Flash powered the web for years but after a long, slow decline, the tech has finally hit its last note. This week, Adobe ends support of the plugin which powered a substantial chunk of the web in its prime. More here.

Amazon takes on Spotify
Amazon is buying a small podcast studio called Wondery in an effort to bolster its digital content arm. This pits the commerce giant against Spotify which has been making substantial moves in the podcast space as of late as well. Read more here.

Judge dismisses Apple copyright suit
A judge tossed out a chunk of Apple’s copyright case against Corellium this week though a DMCA suit still needs to be settled. The lawsuits follow Apple’s rebuffed acquisition talks with the security company. Read more here.

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