The FCC is an independent agency, and historically, it has sought to emphasize its separation from the White House. But some critics still saw the FCC’s timing as politically peculiar. Only a year ago, top FCC aides had told the Trump administration privately that they did not want to pursue regulation around online speech, according to four people with direct knowledge of the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe confidential proceedings. The comments came as part of a series of conversations convened by the White House designed to explore potential regulation targeting Silicon Valley.
Pai himself previously had expressed opposition to new FCC regulation targeting social-media sites. On Thursday, however, he set the agency on a path toward issuing new rules around Section 230, citing concerns shared by “all three branches of government” about the tech giants’ behavior.
“Social media companies have a First Amendment right to