President Donald Trump took to Twitter last night to call for the “immediate” termination of Section 230, the portion of law granting internet companies immunity from certain lawsuits.
The president made the statement amid speculations that his administration is planning multiple executive actions before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Donald Trump argues Section 230 must be abolished “for purposes of National Security.”
For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2020
The law prevents all internet companies from being held legally liable for the third party content that their users create. It also protects those companies from being sued for how they moderate that content.
President Trump and other prominent Republicans have argued for years that Social Media giants like Facebook and Twitter were censoring conservative voices on their sites.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced in October that his office is seeking to “clarify” the meaning of Section 230. His announcement came a few days following Twitter’s censorship of a New York Post article alleging corruption in the Biden family.
“Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech,” Pai said in a statement at the time. “But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”
“Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning,” Pai added. The FCC has yet to make this ruling, however.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, apologized for the censorship against the NY Post at the time, saying his company’s handling of the incident is “unacceptable.” But even after he apologized, Twitter continued to lock the NY Post out from its official account for more than two weeks.