“Misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “fake news” have spread division and contention through online social media platforms, resulting in adverse effects to various areas of science, politics, and public health. This Comment takes a deeper look into the underlying motivations and beliefs behind this phenomenon by presenting a cohesive summarization of the empirical evidence gained from social science research. These terms are reclassified as “conflicting information” to deemphasize the considerations of fact or fiction and emphasize the empirical data showing these terms are social signifiers connotating “in-group” and “out-group” divisions. After developing this backdrop of social science research, the current legal proposals for regulating “conflicting information” are scrutinized, including section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, antitrust enforcement, classification of internet service providers as public utilities, and First Amendment limitations of regulating algorithmic data. This Comment then combines the empirical evidence and legal theory to form an interdisciplinary model of online limited forums. After developing a rudimentary view of how online limited forums would operate, it is proposed that a legislative recommendation be embedded into section 230’s “good faith” requirement. This legislative recommendation gives much needed guidance to online platforms trying to navigate the spread of conflicting information, while also bypassing the legal limitations making stricter methods of enforcement untenable.



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