What the FCC can and can’t do to Section 230

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The Trump administration is once again trying to force social media platforms to do its bidding. This time, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been tapped to use a law called Section 230 to prevent websites from moderating content in a way that many conservatives believe is biased against them. Despite the law being designed to prevent FCC intervention — and the FCC itself using that as justification not to regulate the internet just a few years ago — it appears the agency is going to try.
This comes after Trump and many conservatives have called for Twitter and Facebook to be punished after the platforms suppressed links to the New York Post’s questionably sourced story about Hunter Biden. This prompted another all-caps demand from Trump to repeal Section 230 and the Republican-led Senate to prepare to subpoena Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, accusing the company of election interference.
The very next day, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that his agency would “move forward with a rulemaking to clarify” the meaning of Section 230, which gives internet platforms like Facebook and Twitter immunity from lawsuits over content their users provide. That is to say, if someone defames you in a tweet, you can sue the …

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