What began as complaints about anti-conservative censorship by social media companies has now evolved into outright allegations of election interference, as high-ranking Republicans have accused online platforms of helping Democrats by way of their content moderation decisions. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee is set to grill the CEOs of Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG) and Twitter (TWTR) amid right-wing cries of partisanship and threats to change a critical law, known as Section 230, that protects the companies’ ability to moderate content as they see fit.
Outside experts have found little evidence to support claims of widespread, systematic political bias in Silicon Valley’s technology. But the conservative allegations are an explosive charge and a dramatic escalation ahead of Election Day. They reflect not only the stakes of the race, but also the fact that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become key parts of America’s … Read More
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- The Federal Communications Commission will “clarify the meaning” of Section 230 of the US Communications Act, its chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday.
- Section 230 grants internet companies power to moderate the content that appears on their platforms, and protects them from liability for illegal content posted by users.
- President Trump has railed against Section 230, arguing that it allows tech companies like Facebook to censor lawful speech and target conservatives.
- “Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech,” Pai said. “But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers.”
- Internet rights charity Access Now also condemned Pai’s decision, calling him a “puppet” for the Trump administration.
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is re-examining the part of US law that lets tech companies decide what people are allowed to