Press Release

The Problems With Applying Common Carriage Regulations to Online Platforms

Federal lawmakers have proposed using common carriage regulations to combat alleged discrimination against conservative speech by online platforms. In a new insight, Technology and Innovation Policy Analyst Joshua Levine walks through the case for common carriage regulations and the costs of applying such regulations to online platforms.

Key points:

  • Common carriage regulations historically ensured non-discriminatory public access to services such as shipping and telecommunications.
  • These regulations could theoretically be applied to online platforms to ensure users can share information on these services regardless of their political beliefs.
  • Common carriage regulations for online platforms present First Amendment concerns and could run afoul of Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 protections, impose economic costs on platforms, and harm platforms’ functionality and the user experience.

Read the analysis