May 03, 2022

The Catholic Law concluded its 2021-2022 Faculty Research Series on Friday, April 22. Members of the faculty gathered virtually to hear from their colleague Mary Graw Leary, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, as she discussed her forthcoming symposium piece, “§230 of the Communications Decency Act: Regarding Child Sexual Abuse Material - The Experiment is Done and it Failed." Dean Graw Leary has written other articles in regard to the interpretation of §230, but this piece aims to provide another perspective to the proposed discussion which includes the effect of §230 on victim-survivors of exploitation.

To start the discussion, Dean Graw Leary provided some historical context of the Communications Decency Act and §230, and how the issue of explicit content was at the forefront of that discussion. She outlined, however, that because of the way courts have incorrectly interpreted §230 that concern has been lost and explicit material has expanded as a result. Dean Graw Leary addressed the incorrect expansion of the intended limited immunity of §230 and outlined the reality of the proliferation of sexually explicit content including “child sexual abuse material” (CSAM) also known as child pornography on the Internet. She noted that the situation is worse than what the Senate sought to prevent and that it is a reality the proponents of §230 said the statute would prevent. Dean Graw Leary concluded with a proposal for a path forward before taking questions from those in attendance.

This presentation concludes the 2021-2022 Faculty Research Series. We look forward to more wonderful discussions next year. To learn more about upcoming events, please visit the News and Events page.