It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet. Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)). 47 U.S.C.
I rise today to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, our democracy will not last. 2017 was a year which saw the truth – objective, empirical, evidence-based truth -- more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. It was a year which saw the White House enshrine “alternative facts” into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods.
Much has been said and written over the course of the last week about the plan to restore Internet freedom. But much of the discussion has brought more heat than light. I’d like to cut through the hysteria and hot air and speak with you in plain terms about the plan. First, I’ll explain what it will do. Second, I’ll discuss why I’m advancing it. And third, I’ll respond to the main criticisms that have been leveled against it.
The Federal Trade Commission lacks the authority to oversee how social media companies curate political speech, Chairman Joe Simons told the Senate Commerce Committee Aug 5. “Our authority focuses on commercial speech, not political content curation,” Chairman Simons told Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) at an oversight hearing.
President Donald Trump has sent a message to the Federal Communications Commission: Cross me for misusing my powers in this way, and you’ll be punished, too. The president wants Mike O’Rielly, his fellow FCC commissioners, and appointees across agencies to know what happens when they dare to put the rule of law first, just as the president wants Twitter, and Facebook, and all influential companies on the Internet or off to know how carefully they must tread with him in charge.
Remarks of Commissioner Rosenworcel at RightsCon Online 2020 on Section 230, Online Speech, and the FCC
On May 28, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order. Under this order—at the direction of the President—the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is filing a petition July 27 with the Federal Communications Commission. In it, the Administration is asking the FCC to come up with rules moderating online content. We are told to do so using a law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) joined a group of 17 leading U.S.-based Internet freedom organizations (including the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society) in telling a federal appeals court that Trump administration appointee Michael Pack has no legal authority to purge leadership at the Open Technology Fund (OTF), a private, independent nonprofit that helps hundreds of millions of people across the globe speak out online and avoid censorship and surveillance by repressive regimes.
On June 9, Sens Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, requesting the agency take a fresh look at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and clearly define the criteria for which companies can receive protections under the statute. Social media companies have become involved in a range of editorial and promotional activity; like publishers, they monetize, edit, and otherwise editorialize user content.
In response to Twitter’s decision to label one of the President’s tweets misleading, the Trump White House issued an executive order to limit Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act via agency rulemaking. In the Order, President Donald Trump calls for the Federal Communications Commission to “interpret” Section 230 in a manner that curtails websites’ ability to remove and restrict user speech. This article analyzes the Order and concludes that this effort will fail. First, the FCC does not have rulemaking authority to issue the proposed rules.