Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

Chairmen Pallone and Doyle Demand Answers from Pai Regarding White House Involvement in Section 230 Rulemaking

House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai demanding answers for the FCC’s recent and sudden announcement that it is moving forward with a Section 230 rulemaking. Chairmen Pallone and Doyle wrote that since the FCC is an independent regulatory agency responsible directly to Congress, it should be avoiding even the appearance of acting on behalf of the President. They requested answers to a series of questions, including:

Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior? A senate Committee Wants to Know

The Senate Commerce Committee convene a hearing to examine whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has outlived its usefulness in today’s digital age. Lawmakers hammered the chief executives of Twitter, Facebook, Google -- and one another. Republicans claimed the companies were suppressing conservative views. Of the 81 questions asked by Republicans, 69 were about censorship and the political ideologies of the tech employees responsible for moderating content.

FCC Democrats Can't Reconcile Net Neutrality Deregulation, Section 230 Initiative

Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission are taking issue with Chairman Ajit Pai's announcement that the agency would clarify edge providers' Section 230 immunity from civil liability over third-party content, as the White House has asked.

Justice Department Cites Treatment of Hunter Biden Articles in Call to Change Law Protecting Online Platforms

The Justice Department said it was concerned that Facebook and Twitter restricted access to recent New York Post stories about the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, telling lawmakers the department supported bipartisan interest in changing a law providing legal protections to online platforms.

Joe Biden Win Could Curb Deals, Revive Net Neutrality in FCC Pivot

A victory by Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election could usher in an abrupt change in the nation’s telecommunications policy, restoring so-called net neutrality regulation and shifting the Republican drive to rein in social media outlets, among other things. Biden hasn’t talked much about the Federal Communications Commission during the campaign, but his party’s platform is specific. It calls for restoring net neutrality rules put in place under then-President Barack Obama when Biden served as vice president and taking a harder line on telecommunications mergers.

Apple, Google and a Deal That Controls the Internet

The Department of Justice's case against Google hones in on the company's alliance with Apple as a prime example of what prosecutors say are Google’s illegal tactics to protect its monopoly and choke off competition in web search. The scrutiny of the pact, which was first inked 15 years ago and has rarely been discussed by either company, has highlighted the special relationship between Silicon Valley’s two most valuable companies — an unlikely union of rivals that regulators say is unfairly preventing smaller companies from flourishing. “We have this sort of strange term in Silicon Valley:

By What Authority

Can the Federal Communications Commission regulate the internet? Can it offer consumer protections for broadband subscribers? Can it regulate the content found on social media sites?

FTC Mulls Facebook Lawsuit as Staffers Support Antitrust Case

Federal Trade Commission staff members are recommending that the agency bring an antitrust case against Facebook, but commissioners haven’t yet reached a decision. The five-member FTC met privately via videoconference to discuss next steps, without taking action. The commission is facing political complexities, particularly with the Nov. 3 election looming. FTC Chairman Joseph Simons during his tenure has at times faced challenges in building coalitions among his Republican and Democratic colleagues.

Chairman Wicker Requests Facebook, Twitter Disclose Political Interactions Ahead of 10/28 Big Tech Hearing

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent letters to Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Inc., and Jack Dorsey, Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, requesting the companies to disclose any interactions they have had with presidential candidates and their campaigns ahead of the Committee’s Big Tech hearing on October 28.

One opinion Chairman Pai is ignoring on President Trump’s social media order? His own

As Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai gets ready to consider President Donald Trump’s controversial social media executive order, there is one person’s opinion he should probably take into consideration: his own. Chairman Pai has tried to define his tenure at the head of the agency as being against “heavy-handed” regulation and has promoted a “light-touch” approach to regulation industry. And yet he seems to be totally fine with the FCC jumping headfirst into government regulation with President Donald Trump’s controversial social media executive order.