President Trump last week called for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to be repealed to protect national security.
Now he’s going further, promising to veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless the section that protects Big Tech companies from liability for their content is removed.
…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
President Trump wrote on Twitter: “Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity. Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand … …. Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!”
Social-media companies are regarded under the law as “platforms” for public expression rather than “publishers” subject to liability for their content.
However, during Trump’s term, Twitter, Facebook and others have taken editorial positions, blocking conservative points of view or slapping warning labels on posts.
A Media Research Center survey of Biden voters found that the suppression of major stories by establishment media and social media that reflected negatively on the Democratic candidate influenced the outcome of the election.
Fox New reported critics of the Section 230 provision argue that “tech behemoths like Twitter and Facebook should no longer be shielded as a neutral platform when they operate more like a publisher.”
In fact, Twitter censored hundreds of tweets by President Trump during the campaign and none from Joe Biden.
Fox News explained: “The criticism seemed to reach its tipping point during the Hunter Biden scandal in the weeks prior to the presidential election. The New York Post ran an explosive report that purported to show emails from Hunter Biden that linked his father to his Ukraine business dealings. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley called on the heads of Twitter and Facebook at the time to testify.”
Cruz called it “election interference.”
“It has no precedent in the history of democracy. The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know what the hell is going on,” the senator said.
The Department of Justice already had asked Congress for changes in the law.
“Today’s large online platforms hold tremendous power over the information and views available to the American people. It is therefore critical that they be honest and transparent with users about how they use that power,” the DOJ said.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey claimed in congressional testimony last month that eliminating Section 230 would “remove speech from the internet.”
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