The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency is considering President Trump’s request to weaken legal protections for social media companies such as Jack Dorsey’s Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).
The FCC will begin a rulemaking to “clarify” the meaning of the law that gives broad legal immunity to social media companies for their handling of users’ posts, Chairman Pai said in a statement.
The request was called for in an executive order that President Trump signed in May.
Chairman Pai in his statement that “many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws.”
“Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech,” Chairman Pai said in his statement. “But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”
Coincidentally, Thursday afternoon Twitter had a massive outage that shut down the network for a few hours–‘coincidentally‘.
Twitter’s explainaway: “Most of you should be back to Tweeting. The outage was caused by a system change initiated earlier then planned, affecting most of our servers. We’re working hard to bring Twitter back to normal and expect things to be fully resolved in 1-2 hours. We appreciate your patience.”
Those CEOs best take note of the Power of the Presidency!
“What is in question here is Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. A number of tech industry observers say it’s the most important law protecting free expression online. The provision essentially protects companies that host user-created content from lawsuits over posts on their services. The law wrongfully on my opinion shields not only internet service providers, like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, but also social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Google.
“Section 230 isn’t blanket protection. There are exceptions for federal crimes or intellectual-property claims. A company could still be held accountable if it knowingly allowed users to post illegal content.Here’s the problem. The law provides social media companies with sweeping protections that let them choose what content they restrict, and how. This means social media platforms can’t be sued for taking down content or leaving it up. Without more consumer protections, companies might not bother with moderation which would likely lead to even more offensive, false or misleading content online.
“The FCC has rightfully admitted this and this is what the American consumer must be protected against – false or non-verified content for its hurts everyone, no matter on what side of the argument one is. False or non-verifiable hurts everyone.
“Most internet companies do not bother with moderation which, in my opinion, will lead to even more offensive, false or misleading content online. Section 230 must be repealed or altered and in my opinion, both the FCC and the President are right.
“Thank you for finally someone is focusing on a real problem for Congress has missed this boat entirely,” says economist and media expert Bruce WD Barren.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!