UPDATED 7:20 PM PT – Thursday, December 3, 2020
President Trump called out GOP senators who seem to be backing off the fight against Section 230.
The President took to Twitter on Thursday to slam the senators and to emphasize that the termination must be put in the Defense Bill.
Looks like certain Republican Senators are getting cold feet with respect to the termination of Big Tech’s Section 230, a National Security and Election Integrity MUST. For years, all talk, no action. Termination must be put in Defense Bill!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2020
On Tuesday, President Trump called for the end of Section 230. Section 230 gives companies like Facebook and Twitter the protection of neutral forums rather than publishers.
…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
Critics pointed out these platforms, however, often pick and choose what content they host, which means they act as editors rather than true neutral hosts.
President Trump warned if this “dangerous and unfair” law is not completely terminated as part of the ‘National Defense Authorization Act,’ he would veto the bill.
The President has long spoken out against Section 230. Back in May, he signed an executive order to protect the free speech of all Americans.
“My executive order calls for new regulations, under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” President Trump stated. “They have a shield; they can do what they want. They’re not going to have that shield.”
Some senators have called for more discussion over Section 230. They said the Defense Bill isn’t the place to pressure for change.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany assured the military would get proper funding, but the President is serious about the concerns surrounding the law.
“The President will always defend our military and make sure that we get adequate defense funding as he’s gotten $2.9 trillion so far,” McEnany said. “But he is going to put the pressure on Congress to step up on this.”
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted the NDAA will get done, but also pointed to the need to do away with Section 230.
“We know that we will get an NDAA done as we’ve done for the last 60 years, but we also know that Section 230…needs to be repealed,” McCarthy stated. “These technology companies are not acting in the manner of why 230 was created to give them protections that they want to pick and choose what goes on.”
McCarthy emphasized that Big Tech doesn’t need the protection any longer.
The renewed push to change Section 230 came earlier this year when platforms refused to host a ‘New York Post‘ article, which detailed a hard drive belonging to Hunter Biden. The hard drive linked his business dealings to his father, Joe Biden.
In October, the FCC announced it had the legal authority to interpret Section 230 and would move forward with rule-making to clarify its meaning, which was part of the President’s May executive order.