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Section 230 gives liability protections to internet platforms and social media websites that allow third-party users to publish content, but it also states that platforms must act “in good faith” when they voluntarily take action against material that it deems “objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”
Matze praised Section 230 as “a good idea” for tech companies like Parler, but said the problem with Facebook and Twitter is that they are “not acting in good faith” during an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria.”
“Section 230 is kind of designed to prevent them from what people post, which is a good idea. It’s very nice, actually, for Parler, too, because…tech companies, including Parler, shouldn’t be liable for what people are posting. The problem is that they’re not acting in good faith,” Matze said.
Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai on Thursday released a statement saying “there is bipartisan support to reform” Section 230, and the FCC will move forward in clarifying its terms. Critics of the argument that Section 230 should be revised or revoked say such an action could potentially lead to more censorship and government control over free speech.
His comments come after Twitter and Facebook announced they would be blocking the distribution of a New York Post article alleging communication between 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and the adviser to a Ukrainian energy company regarding the elder Biden.
Facebook said it would be reducing the distribution of the article while the platform’s independent, third-party fact-checkers determine its credibility, while Twitter said it would be blocking the article because it violates the site’s Hacked Media Policy.
The move sparked outrage from the right, which argues that Twitter and Facebook do not take the same action against articles that favor Democrats.
Twitter did not apply its Hacked Media Policy, which does not allow the distribution of “possibly illegally obtained materials,” to The New York Times’ story about President Trump’s tax returns. Similarly, Facebook did not reduce the distribution of articles about the since-debunked Christopher Steele dossier, as conservative news magazine The Federalist first reported.
Matze went on to explain that acting in “good faith” would mean allowing users to “speak freely” as a “tool for communication,” but “Twitter, Facebook and Google — these companies have made it very clear they’re trying to curate content, affect the users — they’re trying to change their opinion by telling them what they [can] and can’t talk about.
“Frankly, that’s a publication. That’s what media outlets do,” he said. “…I think there needs to be an example set where somebody pulls their 230 liability protection because they don’t deserve it. They’re not acting in good faith. They are bad-faith actors.”
Parler has seen a surge in downloads since the Facebook/Twitter Hunter Biden story debacle.
Ariel Michaeli, a spokeswoman for app analytics firm Appfigires, told FOX Business that the company expects Parler downloads doubled from about 5,000 on Monday to between 10,000 and 12,000 on Thursday across the iOS App Store and Google Play.
“I expect today to be the ‘big’ day for Parler since a lot of the outrage happened later in the day yesterday, and it’s something we’re keeping a close watch on,” Michaeli said Thursday.