Last Updated on October 15, 2020
President Trump made it clear after Twitter and Facebook effectively tried to kill the story about Hunter Biden facilitating collusion between his then-Vice President father and an Ukrainian oil executive that he wants the social media giants held accountable.
The President, Wednesday, took issue with a decision by Facebook and Twitter to disrupt the distribution and dissemination of a New York Post story about Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, calling for a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The Post’s article provided documents and photographs from a hard drive abandoned at a computer repair shop in Delaware that included an alleged email indicating that Hunter Biden introduced his father, vice president at the time, to a Ukrainian natural gas executive.
Months later, the then-Vice President applied political pressure to stop a Ukrainian prosecutor from pursuing charges against the oil company.
The elder Biden has previously stated on the record that he has “never spoken” to his son “about his overseas business dealings.”
“So terrible that Facebook and Twitter took down the story of ‘Smoking Gun’ emails related to Sleepy Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in the @nypost,” Trump wrote in a tweet.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act currently allows social media companies to block or screen content “in good faith” if they consider it “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable.”
In reality, the legal protections extended to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook have been used to shield online platforms that engage in “censoring” or “political conduct.”
Attorney General William Barr wrote in a September letter to Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “They no longer function as simple forums for posting third-party content, but use sophisticated algorithms to suggest and promote content and connect users. Platforms can use this power for good to promote free speech and the exchange of ideas, or platforms can abuse this power by censoring lawful speech and promoting certain ideas over others.”
Two lawmakers have made proposals to amend the law. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), penned the Limiting Section 230 Immunity to Good Samaritans Act, which seeks to hold Internet and social media companies accountable for censoring political speech and hiding content created by competitors.
In May of 2020, the President signed an executive order directing federal agencies to craft regulations that protect users from unfair or deceptive content restrictions employed by online platforms.