FCC will move to clarify key social media legal protections -chair

In this news, we discuss the FCC will move to clarify key social media legal protections -chair.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said on Thursday that the agency will move forward to set new rules to clarify the meaning of key legal protection for social media companies. The announcement came as Republicans expressed their anger Twitter Inc has decided to ban the sharing of a New York Post story about the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

In May, US President Donald Trump ordered the US Department of Commerce to file a petition with the FCC to reduce legal protections for social media companies on a provision known as “Section 230.” Pai said the FCC’s general counsel said the agency “has the legal authority to interpret Section 230.” Pai declined to come up with concrete ideas or say whether he would propose reducing legal protections for social media companies that could compromise current business models.

The petition called on the FCC to limit protections for social media companies under Section 230, a provision of the Communications Decency Act 1996 that protects them from liability for content posted by their users. and allows them to remove legal but objectionable posts. Twitter has frozen U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign account @TeamTrump after posting a video referencing the Post article containing alleged details of Hunter Biden’s business relationship with a Ukrainian energy company.

Many legal experts and internet companies claim that the FCC does not have the authority to issue regulations under Section 230. The Internet Association, a group representing major internet companies, including Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Twitter and Alphabet Inc.’s Google said that “the First Amendment protects the ability of every private business to define and enforce rules for acceptable content on their services.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said the commission “has nothing to do with policing the president’s word.” FCC Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr said the FCC “will provide much needed clarification on Section 230 and close loopholes that Big Tech operated. “

In September, Trump appointed Nathan Simington, a senior administration official involved in the social media petition, to a seat on the FCC, and last week Trump urged for a swift confirmation vote. Senate Commerce Committee chairman Roger Wicker on Thursday held a hearing on Simington’s appointment for November 10. Pai refused for months to comment on the petition, and Trump has repeatedly called for action. Any final settlement could still take at least a year.

In August 2018, Pai at a forum said he hoped social media companies would embrace free speech, but saw no role for the FCC in regulating sites Web such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. “The government is not there to regulate these platforms. We don’t have the power to do that, ”Pai said in 2018.

On Thursday, Pai noted that he had promoted free speech during his tenure, but added: “What does section 230 mean now? Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases protects social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of section 230. ”

News Highlights:

  • FCC to take action to clarify key legal protections for social media – Chairman
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