FCC will move to regulate social media after censorship outcry2020-10-16 17:36 by Daniela
Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday he will move to "clarify the meaning" of Section 230, the law which protects social media companies from being legally liable for the content their users post.
Section 230 became effective in 1996 and is designed to shield "interactive computer service" providers from liability for comments posted by third parties on their platforms. So, if someone defames FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Twitter he can sue the person who wrote the tweet but not Twitter itself, for example. The text reads, "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
Critics of Section 230, including President Donald Trump, have argued this gives "big tech" (Facebook, Google, etc.) too much power and allows them to "censor" what's posted on their sites without recourse. Pai, too, invoked the idea that social media companies should follow the same rules as "other media outlets."
"Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech," Pai wrote. "But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters."
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey are scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee later this month.
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