Car theft trend starts as Tik Tok challenge. Can social media companies be held accountable?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – I’ve done a ton of stories on stolen cars. It’s the first time I’ve heard anyone mention the law that protects the social media companies.

Already this year, the RPD reports 626 stolen cars. Most of them are Kias and Hyundais. And, if we stay on this pace, we will surpass last year’s number of stolen cars by the end of March. We average 10 stolen cars a day. In Buffalo they average six.

The car companies have donated hundreds of steering wheel locks. If you own a targeted Kia or Hyundai, you can get system upgrade that reduces the likelihood they’ll get stolen. But this trend started with a video challenge on Tik Tok and for the first time, I heard someone talk about holding the social media companies responsible. 

“There is something called Section 230 which exempts all the social media companies from any liability no matter what’s on there. We are giving a very serious look to reexamining 230 because what’s happening is outrageous,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

Section 230 is part of the Communication Decency Act from 1996. It says no computer service will be treated as the publisher of material. That’s what the senator says Congress will look at.